Sunday, September 28, 2008

Eggs & Dairy

  • Egg yolks provide fat and lecithin (a natural emulsifier), which contribute to the fine texture of baked goods, and egg whites contain proteins that give structure and “body” to the final product.
  • Too many egg whites will make a baked good dry and rubbery; however, a successful substitution of 3 egg whites plus one whole egg for a 2-egg recipe can be made.
  • Complete egg substitutes (such as Eggbeaters) can be used according to package directions in order to reduce total fat and calories and eliminate cholesterol without sacrificing flavour, colouring or nutrients.
  • Low-fat (but not fat-free) ingredients like cream cheeses, sour cream and milk work just as well for their full-fat counterparts in baking, though in cheesecakes make sure at least one third of the cream cheese is full-fat for texture.
  • To reduce the fat and cholesterol of recipes calling for large amounts of “heavy” dairy (cheesecakes, sour cream cakes, and icings) while maintaining the desired texture, use two parts “light” ingredient (cream cheese, sour cream) to one part “whole” ingredient.
  • Low-fat yogurt is also a wonderful and healthy low-fat substitute for sour cream, especially in cakes.
  • Buttermilk, despite it’s name, is usually around 1% milkfat and is a good substitute for 4% milk in recipes using chemical leaveners (baking powder or soda, add an extra ¼ tsp soda for every cup buttermilk).
  • Pureed 1% cottage cheese can be used to replace part of the cream cheese in a cheesecake recipe, and for all of the cream cheese in cakes and biscuits.
  • Unless the cream in a recipe is intended to be whipped, an equal amount of evaporated skim milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk) is a successful substitute.

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