Monthly Archives: November 2011

Fondant au Chocolat

“This cake is dark and dense. The very definition of a fondant.”

When I was looking for a chocolate cake recipe about three weeks ago, I knew I’d hit jackpot when I read Like a Strawberry Milk‘s words. (Plus, if you check out her pictures, especially the first time she posted about this cake – yes, it’s so good she’s written twice about it -, you just know it’s the one.)

Dark, dense, fondant = exactly what I was craving.

You’re probably thinking, “but isn’t this supposed to be a blog about eggs?”

Well, yes. And this is a cake which is like 90% egg.

Not really, but 8 eggs is a lot. That’s the main secret behind a truly dense chocolatey-chocolate cake though. And, although it might not be the healthiest recipe in the world doing the honors of cutting the ribbon of the recipe section in this blog, it’s one I really just had to share.

Besides, who said this blog would only have healthy recipes? That’s actually very unlikely.

Anyway, this isn’t a cake to be eaten every day, it’s a special cake, for that extra special chocolate craving. I’ve baked it only once, and completely wrong (didn’t have the proper springform pan) but still, it was absolutely heavenly.

Here goes the exact recipe I followed from Fanny’s (truly inspiring!) blog:

Fondant au Chocolat (for one 24 to 28cm springform pan)

  • 200g dark chocolate
240g butter
8 eggs
  • 400gsugar
130g flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, and generously butter a springform pan.
  2. In a bowl, melt the chocolate and butter.
  3. In a heatproof bowl, mix the eggs and sugar – using a whisk – and place over medium heat (or on a water bath). Keep on mixing until not cold anymore. It shouldn’t be hot either.
  4. Pour the chocolate over the egg mixture, and homogenise.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over and using a rubber spatula, gently incoporate it until just smooth.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes (if you’re using a smaller pan) until just set.

Easy peasy.

A piece of advice: if you live alone, or as a couple, think about taking a few slices to work, or inviting someone over when you bake this cake. It’s seriously addictive and way too heavy. Eight eggs people, eight.

Bon appétit!

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Bs and Co.

This is a post about B vitamins present in eggs (and an essential nutrient, that isn’t a vitamin, but likes to hang out with our Bs). I’ll try to keep it quite simple and will not go into detail about all the properties of these vitamins. The idea is that you get a basic understanding of what these Bs and Co. do for you. If you’d like to get more extensive information, as well as details about vitamin deficiencies, diseases associated with them and so on, please refer to the resources listed throughout the post. Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were sourced from this website and refer to medium sized eggs.

In the spirit of full disclosure: I don’t eat meat nor fish (one of the reasons why I dig eggs so much), and I don’t like labels. I will, therefore, point out some important information for *vegetarians*, since eggs are an important source of some nutrients that are, otherwise, more easily found in animal products.

Vitamin B12 (1.3µg = 52% RDA)

Vitamin B12 – aka Cobalamin – has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is normally involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body!

Since B12 is found in animal products, vegetarians are a risk group for B12 deficiency (a type of anemia). Other from eggs, however, B12 can also be found in swiss cheese and whole cow’s milk.

More about B12 here and here.

Vitamin B2 riboflavin (0.24mg = 17% RDA)

Vitamin B2 – aka Riboflavin -, as all B vitamins, helps the body convert carbs into glucose, which is burned to produce energy. It is important for healthy skin, eyes, liver and a functioning nervous system. Riboflavin is also an antioxidant fighting free radicals (which damage cells and DNA, as well as contributing to aging).

More about B2 here and here.

Choline (145mg = 34% RDA for women, 26% for men)

Choline is an essential nutrient that hangs out with B-complex vitamins, such as our buddies B12 and B2. Choline serves various functions in our bodies – in the structure of cell membranes, protecting our livers from accumulating fat, and more. Vegetarians are at risk for choline deficiency, so it’s important to know that eggs (as well as tofu, milk, spinach, cauliflowers, quinoa and kidney beans) are a great source of choline. In general, people who do not eat many whole eggs may have to pay close attention to get enough choline in their diets. The choline demand in an adult is actually likely to be smaller than for an infant, as it is necessary to develop organs in its growing body (especially the brain). That’s why breast milk contains a huge amount of choline, and why it’s essential that pregnant women get enough choline.

More about Choline here, here and here.

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Does salt prevent eggs from cracking?

The first potential myth I decided to look up was:
Always salt cold water before boiling an egg – it prevents the shell from cracking.

Bare in mind that I am not going to libraries or talking to specialists – I’m sitting on my couch and Googling this stuff, much like you can. Still, I will try to get as “scientific” as possible and will provide you with my references.

I must say, I was quite impressed with the amount of popular opinions, posts and articles I found by just typing in: boiling eggs salt water. Apparently, my Mum isn’t the only one defending this whole salt theory. Many egg opinionators defend such a thesis, adding that it is easier to peel eggs that have been cooked in salted water. However, most of my sources did not provide a reasonable – scientific? – justification for this.

That’s until I ran into this blog. I have to confess I haven’t read all the guy has to say about eggs yet, but he sure seems to know plenty about them. Or, at least, it would seem he has researched the subject more than most.

In short, here’s what Khymos says:

  1. Eggs crack because the air trapped inside them expands during the heating process.
  2. Eggs’ pores are teeny, so the expanding air can’t escape fast enough through them.
  3. This is particularly true for eggs that aren’t very fresh (as the pores become gradually clogged upon storage).
  4. There are two ways to avoid the cracking of the eggs: pierce the eggs before boiling them or add salt (or vinegar) to the water!

The reason for this is: adding salt to the water will help the egg white coagulate faster and plug any crack formed.

Yay! Not a myth – Mum was right!! Give it up, D.

(I’m not spending 31 euros on this, but if you really want to, there’s a 1973 issue of the British Poultry Science entirely dedicated to the matter.)

One down, two to go.

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Mum says it’s true.

Hi reader – thanks for joining my nutty blog about eggs. If you want to know how I came up with this idea, it’s fully documented in the About section.

Now: for the first post!

My Mum has always had 3 rules about cooking eggs which I follow and accept as true wisdom. I’m not exactly sure why, but my boyfriend D. keeps on doubting the scientific grounds on which these rules lay. I’ve always chosen to stick with what Ma’ says and never actually ran a background check on her egg creed. So, whenever my actions reflect one of her teachings, I defend myself saying, “It’s true, my Mum told me so.” But, since I will be starting a blog about eggs, I should – or inevitably will – find out the if it’s all bollocks or not.

At least for one more day though, I will indulge in the belief that it’s all true, scientific, carved in stone. Tomorrow I’ll find out if it’s not.

Here goes:

1. Always salt cold water before boiling an egg – it prevents the shell from cracking.

2. Eggs should be at room temperature when baking a cake, so don’t use them directly from the fridge. Take them out at least an hour ahead.

3. When washing dishes that have been used for raw or runny eggs, use cold water – warm water will cook the remaining egg and make it harder to wash off. (Same applies to milk, by the way.)

I can’t remember any other particular rule, but I do think there was something about a weekly egg allowance for an optimal diet. D. defends that theory too (he puts it at 3-4 a week) but I believe I’ve read articles stating otherwise. Anyway, I will also get to the bottom of that one, it’s particularly important if I’m going to start cooking eggs like there’s no tomorrow.

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