Should eggs be at room temp when baking?

Second myth on my Mum’s list:

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.

And I am happy to inform you that she is right, again: eggs should be at room temperature when baking.

Why? It basically has to do with stress. The poor guys get stressed out in the fridge, and need a little “chilling down” (ha) before getting whipped into shape (double ha). Room temperature eggs will break up more easily when whisked into a batter. Cold eggs can actually make your batter firm up – so make that effort to wait at least 30min (to an hour) before using your cold eggs for a cake.

But, there are a couple of “buts”!

  • Avoid leaving your eggs on the counter-top for hours… Eggs deteriorate more in one day at room temperature than one week in the fridge!
  • If your recipe requires you separate the whites from the yolk, do so when the eggs are cold – it is easier! How annoying is it to try and catch that bit of yolk that accidentally fell on the whites?…

I also learned some interesting tricks when researching this myth true fact:

  • Once cracked, eggs will keep in the fridge for about two days if properly sealed. Whites even last up to 7-10 days in the fridge, and a month if frozen! Joy of Baking suggests you freeze them in individual plastic ice cube trays and then transfer the cubes into a plastic freezer bag. To defrost them, just put them in the fridge overnight. Careful what you use them for though: after freezing, the whites can get watery and shouldn’t be used in recipes where they are the sole leavening agent.
  • If you’re in a terrible hurry and don’t have 30-60min to warm your eggs, just place them in a bowl of warm water for 10-15min, ta-dah: you have room temperature eggs!
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