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Old 04-24-2012, 11:49 PM   #1
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What is the effect on baking as more eggs are added, as in a cake made from scratch?

I am trying to come up with a good yellow cake from scratch. Each recipe has different numbers of eggs. Trying to find out if I adjust the number of eggs what effect it will have on the cake.

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Old 04-25-2012, 11:16 AM   #2
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The function of eggs in cake batters is as an emulsifier. They cause the batter to be smooth and the cake to be lighter and finer. Two many eggs, though, will make the cake heavy and tough. Once you achieve a good smoothness and lightness, there's nothing to gain and much to lose by adding more. But probably one extra egg will do no real harm, as you can kind of see from the different numbers in different recipes.

All this assumes that the eggs are added to the batter one at a time and thoroughly blended before adding another and that the eggs are at room temperature.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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AS GLC stated, the yolk emulsifies the fat, allowing it to combine smoothly with the water in the batter. But it forms other functions as well. The yolk thickens as it cooks, and acts as a binder. Think of how egg yolks thicken a pastry cream. The egg white adds protein. This helps the crumb stick together. To understand the process, try this experiment.

Make a batter by combining 1 large egg with 3 tbs. of cooking oil whisked together. Set aside. Place 1 cup of flour into a bowl, along with 2 tsp, baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 tbs. sugar. Whisk these ingredients together to combine. Add 3/4 cup of milk to the flour mixture and cook two tbs of the batter as a pancake on a griddle. Notice how the pancake will puff up, then fall, and is easily broken. It has little body.

Now, add the egg to the batter, whisk in and repeat the pancake test. Notice the difference in texture. The pancake is lighter, more fluffy, as it has the required structure to capture and hold the little CO2 bubbles.

Finally, add two more eggs to the batter and whisk them in. Again make your pancake. notice how the pancake has become somewhat rubbery. This is due to the extra protein from the egg. Some deserts are made this way, such as bread pudding. The egg texture becomes noticeable in the end product.

If you desire your cake to be more moist, try adding an extra 2 tbs. of cooking oil to the original recipe. That will make the cake feel more luxurious, and moist. Too much oil, though, will make the cake heavy, and downright oily feeling. I had a carrot cake recipe given to me that had far too much oil in it. I though that I could pick up a piece of the cake, and squeeze it like a sponge to remove the extra oil. I cut the oil in half and had a very moist and fabulous carrot cake recipe that I use to this day.

Egg is necessary, but in the correct amount. If you try the experiment I gave you, it will be apparent to you what egg does when mixed with flour, water, and oil. Use this knowledge for cakes, quickbreads, cookies, and so on.

A note: Eggs can be used as a leavening agent, as when used to make pop-overs, dutch babies (a kind of pancake), and Yorkshire Pudding. It's also what makes eclairs, puffs, and profiteroles puff up as they do. The egg, flour, and dairy combine to create a batter that holds together very well. High heat sets the outer layer of the pastry so that like bubble gum, it holds in the expanding air and steam as the pastry cooks, creating a hollow end result. When the pastry is finished, the shell is firm enough to retain its shape as the steam and air inside it cool.

That should help you understand what's going on in your pastries.

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Old 04-25-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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What I am trying to make is a good, yellow cake. Not to heavy like pound cake. Trying to learn to replace my box cake mixes with scratch. So far most of them have been a little heavy. The last you I made had 2 sticks of butter and 4 eggs. Will it help to cut out one stick of butter and one egg?
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:03 PM   #5
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How much flour did you have? It is hard to say exactly what you need if we do not know all the ingredients.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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For most cakes, the ratio to flour to egg to oil is 1 cup flour, 1 large egg, 3 tbs oil.

An average cake uses 3 cups of cake flour, 3 eggs, and 1/3 cup of oil. Adding an extra 2 tbs of oil will make the cake more moist. Of course, you can change the oil to melted butter. I don't recall how much water I use in my "from scratch cakes. I know I use about t tbs. baking powder, if it's not a chocolate cake, or a chocolate cake using dutched cocoa. I also don't remember off the top of my head how much sugar i use. I think it's about 1/2 cup of sugar.

But the flour, salt, fat, oil ratio is correct.

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Old 04-25-2012, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
For most cakes, the ratio to flour to egg to oil is 1 cup flour, 1 large egg, 3 tbs oil.

An average cake uses 3 cups of cake flour, 3 eggs, and 1/3 cup of oil.

Adding an extra 2 tbs of oil will make the cake more moist...

Chief, if I extend the formula from 1 cup flour, 1 egg and 3 tb oil times three, I get 3 C flour, 3 eggs and 9 Tbs of oil. If you add two more Tb of oil for a moister cake, that's a total of 11 Tb, almost 3/4 cup. That doesn't tie out to your 1/3 cup amount.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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I think it was 3 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup milk, 2 sticks butter, 2 tsp vanilla, 3 tsp baking powder.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Chief, if I extend the formula from 1 cup flour, 1 egg and 3 tb oil times three, I get 3 C flour, 3 eggs and 9 Tbs of oil. If you add two more Tb of oil for a moister cake, that's a total of 11 Tb, almost 3/4 cup. That doesn't tie out to your 1/3 cup amount.
Oops. I was mixing apples and oranges with a less-than-perfect memory. In my pancake batter, the ratio is 1 cup flour, 1 egg, 3 tbs. oil, 3/4 cup milk. Pancake batter is a quickbread batter, much like cake batter. In fact, I have trippled my pancake recipe, added vanilla, and used butter instead of oil, and increased the sugar content to make a pretty good yellow cake.

The 1/3 oil part came from memory of using a boxed mix, which may have had different amounts of flour and sugar than my basic batter recipe.

I play with things a lot, which makes it easy for me to create things on the fly, but difficult to quantify ingredients.

Thanks for the correction.

If memory serves, 3 tbs. = 1/8 cup. Is that correct? Ah, after the google search, 4 tbs. - 1/4 cup. My bad. Can you tell that I don't always measure things out when I bake? And yet, the food comes out the way I want it to. I just come at it from a different perspective, one of knowing how the ingredients work together, rather than memorizing a recipe and following it to the letter. It lets me be much more creative.

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Old 04-25-2012, 04:12 PM   #10
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Does anyone have a good, light and moist yellow cake recipe?
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