The How & Why



Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or even as a dessert,

The chicken EGG plays an important role in all food and can be enjoyed at any point during the day!

My favourites are definitely SCRAMBLED,BOILED and OMELETTES!


Eggs provide us with a range of great foods because it can be used for 4 main things:

EMULSIONS – because it contains an emulsifying agent

FOAMS – because it contains foaming agents

FOAMING GELS – because it contains proteins that coagulate when heated

and COLOUR – from the egg yolk

Nerd Alert:


the dispersion of one liquid within another



dispersion of a gas in a liquid



when you make a firm mass or gel by denaturation of protein molecules followed by linking different bonds together



when the basic structure of a protein molecule is changed

Before we start you need to know if your eggs are FRESH!

….take a plate and BREAK your egg open onto to it

the egg yolk (yellow part) should be round and plump, and stand as if it is upright in comparison to the thick egg white part,

if it is old the egg and white while spread or RUN – simple :)

It is also important to know what SIZE your eggs are…

always adjust your recipe according to the weight of your eggs or size  (when baking most recipes will use large eggs)



Jumbo – 900g for 12 eggs

Extra large – 810g for 12 eggs

Large – 720g for 12 eggs

Medium – 630g for 12 eggs

Small – 540g for 12 eggs

and Peewee (don’t you just love this name!!) – which is 450g for 12 eggs



Both the EGG WHITE and EGG YOLK contain proteins.

and when we heat the egg the PROTEINS denature and form a strong network – making them great for thickening and gel formation.

Although both the egg white & yolk coagulate when heated there ARE a few things that will affect this:

the AMOUNT of egg in a mixture – the less egg in the mixture the slower it will coagulate

DILUTION – if egg is mixed with a liquid like milk it will need a higher temperature to coagulate.

TEMPERATURE – egg yolk proteins need a higher temperature to coagulate than egg white

added SUGAR – this increases the heat stability of the proteins in the egg making it need a higher temperature to coagulate.

added ACID – like lemon juice or tomato juice will coagulate at a lower temperature

and added SALT – which helps to form a gel when a egg mixture is cooked.



When we beat egg whites they trap bubbles of air and become foamy, they then form soft peaks and if you continue beating the peaks will become stiffer – however if you over beat it it will become dry and separate into fluffy masses separated from the liquid as the air bubbles break.

SOUFFLE, soft MERINGUE, puffy OMELETTES and egg whites beaten with sugar for ANGEL cake are all achieved from beating egg whites.

The egg whites when beaten will form stiff peaks with the tips falling over slightly when you pull the beater out of the foam and it will appear shiny and smooth that will flow slowly from the bowl if tipped– this is the perfect consistency!


Egg YOLKS on the other hand take a little longer to thicken due to the fat in the yolk, increasing only slightly when beaten – they form a pale creamy yellow colour.



Always have your eggs at ROOM TEMPERATURE so that that beat easily and quickly with a much larger volume.

It is also better to use a whisk with THIN wires giving you smaller air bubbles and a CLEAN BOWL!

FOAMY STAGE: this is the first stage that occurs 30 seconds to 1 minute after beating, the mixture will still be runny, with no peaks and still have a yellowy colour with bubbles.
SOFT PEAK STAGE: When you remove your whisk, there will be small peaks that gently flop over, the mixture will be soft and melt back into themselves after a second.
STIFF PEAK STAGE: When you remove your whisk, there will be small peaks that point straight up without collapsing, the mixture will be thick and heavy.



POACHED – poaching is when we cook the egg (without a shell) in hot water/ milk/ cream or any form of liquid. The liquid should not boil but simmer (a temperature of 85°C is best), if the water is too cold the egg white will spread throughout the liquid instead setting and holding its shape. 2 teaspoons of vinegar & 1 teaspoon of salt helps with the coagulation of the egg proteins. In water of 85°C it will take 5 to 8 minutes to cook, depending on how firm you like the egg yolk


BOILED – cooking eggs in their shell can be delicious! And they can be cooked according to how firm you like your yolk, you can add your eggs to simmering water (not boiling) and allow to cook

3-4 minutes for a runny yolk

6-7 minutes for a soft yolk

And 10-12 minutes for a hard yolk


SCRAMBLED – this is when we mix the egg white and yolk together (sometimes with milk) before adding it to a hot pan and butter, then using your spatula move it up and down creating a scrambled look. You can have it either slightly wet or dry depending on what you enjoy best!


OMELETTES – beat the egg white and yolk together, add a little bit of milk or water, it is then added to a hot pan, allowed to cook over a low heat and then folded – best fillings always contain grated cheese before folding!

Have fun cooking!

Megan Potgieter

No Comments

Post a Comment