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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Many Secrets of Eggs

Lately I've been reading Book of Secrets, which I'll tell you more about when I finish. One mini-article that I found to be helpful was The Many Secrets of Eggs. Here they are:
  • Fresh eggs will have a rough chalky texture to the outside of the shell; the older the eggs, the smoother the shell
  • To see how fresh an egg is put it in a glass of water. If it lays down horizontally it is 1-2 days old. 45 degree angle=7-10 days old. If it stands up vertically it is much older than that.
  • If you shake an egg and you feel movement inside it is old. As the moisture content of the egg diminishes over time the air pocket inside grows bigger.
  • Slightly older eggs are better for hard boiling. Shells of very fresh eggs are harder to remove and fresh eggs also take longer to boil.
  • When cracked into a pan a fresh egg's yolk will be almost spherical, the older the egg, the flatter it will be.
  • Fresh eggs are best for separating yolks from whites, because the membrane surrounding the yolk disintegrates with age.
  • Never beat egg white in an aluminium bowl, it will turn them gray.
  • If you have leftover egg whites it is fine to freeze them.
  • Eggshells are very porous. Storing them near anything with a very strong aroma can taint their taste. But the paper mache cartons will absorb most odours.
  • Once you have taken hardboiled eggs off the stove, place them under a running tap until the water is cold. This stops the eggs from cooking in theoir own heat and prevents the yolk from getting that greenish grey coating.
  • If you cook eggs fresh straight from the fridge they will be much tougher than if you let them get to room temperature first.
  • When boiled, eggs straight from the fridge are less likely to crack. Use a small pan allowing for less room for them to bump around.
  • Adding a spoonful of vinegar to the water you boil the eggs in protects the shells and prevents them from cracking.
  • If you have a hot liquid that you are thickening with eggs, make sure that you let it cool before adding them, otherwise they will cook before they can be whisked in.
  • A pinch of cream of tartar added to eggs before whisking will make them much fluffier.
  • Cooking eggs at a high heat makes for tough eggs.
  • For perfect scrambled eggs always slightly under-cook them. They will continue to cook in their own heat as you serve them.

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