Stabilization and Baking

The Doctor is in, have a seat in my kitchen. Baking is a combination of art and science. Ever wonder how those eggs are able to form stiff peaks when you make things like meringues? This is the work of protein bonds. Adding an acid helps to create even further bonds, hence the use of cream of tartar for stabilization in some recipes. Cream of tartar is an acid that helps stabilize the foam you created when beating the eggs. Lemon juice and distilled white vinegar also accomplish this task.

For the sake of conversation let’s switch to whipping cream. In order to make whipped cream you can stabilize it by either keeping the temperature low to keep the fats solid or add a protein such as gelatin. Pretty cool, huh? So proteins are important for structure.

Well, back to the matter at hand. Even sugar can be an important player in the game.  Adding sugar to whipped eggs pulls the water from it allowing it to hold form. Sugar also adds elasticity to the foam allowing it to expand. This is another cool addition to the formula that gives your baked good softness.

Also, did you know that the type of bowl you beat your eggs can make a difference? Copper for instance causes amino acids containing sulfur to bond.  Wooden bowls are not an ideal choice because of the porous surface.


There is so much to learn in the kitchen. Stay tuned!

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