Lemon Angel Food Cake – Separating the Egg Whites

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,455
    Chef Karen Stiegler demonstrates how to separate the egg whites for a lemon angel food cake.

    Karen Stiegler: Hi! My name is Karen Stiegler, and I am here today talking to you about Healthy Baking and showing you how to make a fat free Lemon Angel Food Cake. So now I want to talk to you about choosing your eggs. First of all, you want to buy your eggs in a store where you notice a lot of turnover of the eggs, a lot of purchasing of the eggs, because that means the eggs are going to be fresher. And we are going to need to 10-12 eggs for this recipe, the equivalent of one-and-a-half cups of egg whites. So we will talk about that in a minute.

    But I have here just a dozen eggs, and these eggs happen to be white. Now the color of the egg shell like brown or different colors, doesn't have anything to do with the taste or the quality of the egg. So it doesn't matter what you buy, you can buy organic, you can buy cage free or just regular eggs, whatever you like. But the color is determined by the hen that lays it, so it has nothing to do with the insides of the eggs.

    I also want to caution you, because at the grocery store a lot of times they have these cartons of pasteurized egg whites, those will not work for Angel Food Cakes, and usually it's said so on the package. So just make sure you want to buy real eggs, fresh eggs and bring them home and then we will separate them next. So we have our eggs here, and first of all I like to break my eggs on a flat surface versus on the edge of a bowl, because if you break it on the edge of the bowl, the shell can actually go up into the egg.

    So use a little plate, if you don't want to do directly on the counter, or just break it on the counter. So we have three bowls here, okay, and this is really a great technique to use. So we are going to crack our egg a little bit so we can get it apart, and then I am going to open it up and just let one of the yolks fall, or the yolk fall into the side of the one of the eggs. And you can rock back and forth with your egg yolks, but I find that the shell can sometimes cut open the egg yolk. So I like to just wash my hands really well before I start, and then just use my hands to go back and forth, because your hands are soft you you don't have to worry too much about it, about breaking the yolk.

    Now we are going to put the yolk in the second bowl. So I have my egg white in this bowl, my egg yolk here, so I am going to pour this actually into a third bowl. Now the goal here is you do not want to get any of this egg yolk into the egg white. If you do that your egg white will not beat up properly no matter what you do. So we need to avoid fat and grease getting into the egg white. So keep your egg yolks whole. If you start to separate and your egg yolk breaks, then you want to just save that egg for something else like scrambled eggs or another cake recipe or something, use it for something else, and just keep a pristine bowl of egg whites. So now we are going to do our second egg, so I will show you the reason for the three bowls if you haven't figured that out already. So once again, I am going to open up my egg, and using my hands just go back and forth to get all the white off.

    Now I am going to put my yolk in this bowl. And I can once again empty this in to my first bowl with the egg whites. This way I am separating the egg over this other bowl, and if any egg yolk got into this egg it would just be the one egg that got mixed with the egg yolk. If I was actually -- I didn't have this bowl and I was separating over this bowl, I could have like eight egg whites in here and get a little bit of yolk and it can potentially ruin all eight egg whites, so I would have to start completely over again. So that's why it's safer to use this three bowl method to keep your egg whites perfectly yolk free and fat free.

    So for this recipe go ahead and separate 10-12 eggs, you are going to use just the whites, and it depends on the size of the eggs. Most recipes use large eggs, so that's what I have here today. So separate enough and start measuring them until you get a cup and half. So let me just add these here, and it's just about perfect. I have a cup and half of egg whites. So I am ready to go and beat my egg whites.