For the most part, preparing eggs for a recipe is simple: crack and/or peel. It's separating them for say, meringues, cakes or souffles, that things can get tricky. The membrane around the yolk is delicate and can easily tear, and there are recipes for which whites must be entirely free of yolk. Separating eggs properly for baking can be a critical step.
Luckily, there are three easy ways to separate eggs; you can watch Christine demonstrate them in this video here. (We know you'll love our water bottle method that even the kids can do!)
- Separate the yolk from the white with your hands. You want very clean hands for this. Crack the shell and empty the whole egg into your hand, then let the whites slip through your fingers into a bowl below. It's best to do this over a designated 'safety' bowl, before transferring the white to a bowl with the rest of the separated whites. This way if a bit of yolk does slip through, you haven't tainted the other whites.
- Use the shell method. Gently crack the shell on the edge of a bowl or the counter and move the yolk from one half of the shell to the other, letting the white spill over the shell and into a bowl below. Keep moving the yolk back and forth until all the white has emptied out.
- Use a clean, empty water bottle - a great one to try with the kids. Crack the whole egg into a bowl and with an empty water bottle, suck the yolk up and move it to another bowl. You have to see this one to believe it!
And keep in mind that yolks hold together better when cold, so separate eggs soon after they come out of the fridge. However, since egg whites whip up in volume better when warmer, let them come to room temperature, after separating them, before beating.
Now that you've learned three easy ways to separate eggs, here are ten recipes to practice with. And read more about eggs here so you can be a well-rounded egg-xert in the kitchen.
Chocolate Chip Angel Food Cake
Brownie Baked Alaska
Brown Sugar Meringues with Citrus Curd
Chocolate Coconut Mounds
Chocolate Banana Pudding
Chocolate Espresso Torte
Chocolate Mousse Pie
Chocolate Souffle for Two