Friday, 20 July 2012

The other half of the egg

Just a quick post to share some baking ideas- as I was making cakes and puddings for a family get-together at the weekend.
One of my recipes called for an egg yolk (to make a sweet shortcrust pastry)- the other called for 2 egg whites. A near perfect symbiosis you might think- not much waste there.

Sometimes though you make a dish which requires more egg yolks than whites- for example, fresh egg pasta.

The recipe I use requires 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks (blitzed in the food processor with 250g plain flour, some salt and 2tsp of olive oil.) This pasta recipe is foolproof- and makes wonderful ravioli- but that's a blog post for another time.

What about those egg whites?

If you're not in the mood to make a pavlova there and then, I'm sure the temptation is just to let those egg whites slide away down the sink. Stop right there!

Egg whites freeze perfectly- put them in small containers in the freezer (I use pate containers, as they are nice and small with good lids). You can defrost them in an hour or so, whenever you need to do some baking.

I used the egg white leftover from the pastry (which made this lovely lemon tart incidentally) along with one other from the freezer to make a Moelleux au Chocolat- a dense French chocolate cake not unlike a chocolate brownie- but so delicious and simple:
You need
 200g of dark chocolate
150 g soft butter
100g sugar
50 g self raising flour
2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites

Beat the egg whites until just forming soft peaks, beat the butter with the sugar and then add the whole eggs one by one. Melt the chocolate in the microwave with a splash of water for 1 minute. Mix it into the eggs and butter, then add the flour. Carefully slide in the egg whites, folding them into the mixture rather than stirring them in. Pour into a greased cake tin and bake at 150 degrees for 25-30 minutes- crucially, until the top is firm but a cocktail stick inserted into the very centre still comes out with some gooey mixture on it. That way you have a chocolate cake with a squidgy centre which is the key to it success.

Unbelievably nice- and keeps well in the fridge for a few days too.

If you build up a stash of egg whites in the freezer however then it might be a good idea (joking apart) to use them up on a pavlova every once in a while.

This recipe has always worked for me:

And as for leftover egg yolks? You can freeze these too- but they do not freeze well whole. You need to beat them with a 1/8 tsp salt or 1 tsp sugar and then freeze the mixture in a small container. Be sure to label the container 'Sweet Egg' or 'Savoury Egg' so you know which is best for your recipe.

Usually though, I just whip them with a bit of milk and have them scrambled on toast for a snack.

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