The Uses of Eggs
The composition of an egg makes it the most versatile ingredient in baking. Eggs have the following uses:
Enhances the nutritional value of
Eggs are rich in nutrients and by adding them to vegetables, pastas, wheat and bread, the nutritionally balanced meal when an egg is added.
Whisked egg white includes air to form fine foam. The air bubbles expand with heat, as in sponge cakes, meringues or soufflés and thus acts as raising agent.
Binding substance and coating
Because eggs set when heated, they bind loose crumbly ingredients together, for example in croquettes and fillings. By dipping fritters in beaten egg before frying, the surface is sealed which prevents the food from soaking up the oil in which it is fried.
Whipped egg is used as thickening agent in pie fillings, custard sauces and baked custard. When heated for too long, however, liquid is discharged and the egg forms a sticky clot.
Egg yolk keeps liquid like oil in an emulsion by encircling oil particles, thus preventing them from sticking together. mayonnaise is an excellent example. The addition of vinegar or lemon juice stabilises the emulsion.
Glazing and sealing
Whisked egg white glazes baking beautifully. Raw pastry crust won't become mushy from the moisture in the filling if it is cooked with egg white before the filling is poured into it.
All purities stick to beaten egg and crushed shell and can be strained through a muslin cloth to obtain clear meat stock, soups and jellies.
The addition of egg white when making sweets controls crystallisation.
Adding colour and flavouring
The egg yolk gives cakes a very attractive colour. Eggs also enhance the flavour of any dish to which they are added.