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May 22, 2008 07:56 AM

Pound Cake: I left out an egg

I had all my ingredients out, coming to room temperature.
I assembled, baked and tasted.
Then I cleaned up and found that one of six eggs had rolled behind the flour and sugar canisters.
The eggs are large farm raised from down the street so there's some difference in size.

But the cake is really good, even if slighted an egg. much 'cheating' dare we do on baking recipes calling for x number of eggs?

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  1. I'd say this only safe to do (by accident or on purpose) when your eggs are larger than the standard size of the egg called for in the recipe. I don't do it, because I'm really not an expert on various egg sizes, and wouldn't trust myself to judge that a particular egg is really more of an "extra large" than the "large" that the recipe calls for. On the other hand, I have used larger eggs than recipes call for (in baking) with no problems.

    In your particular case, I believe that one reason you did not have a problem is because you only left out 1/6th of the egg called for. Had the recipe called for 2 eggs, and you left one out, you would undoubtedly have ended up with a less successful result.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vvvindaloo

      With pastry, I do try to follow recipes exactly, preferring recipes in grams as opposed to volume measurements. Pastry is a science and what may seem like a small adjustment could potentially lead to not-so-great results.

      I agree with vindaloo that you probably didn't have a problem because the recipe was for 6 eggs. And not sure what kind of recipe you had, but the original pound cake recipe called for a pound of flour, butter, sugar and eggs which made a very dense pound cake. Modern versions are generally lighter, and I've noticed that the ratio of eggs have been smaller than the older recipes.

    2. I always cheat if there's more than two eggs in a recipe by guaging the size of my eggs and comparing them to "average".
      I have gone so far as to weighed them and sort them if I thought I was going to be short or if I needed to share what I had on hand with another use.
      I think in store-bought eggs they try to mix a few light ones into the dozen (relative to the grade/average size criteria).
      I wonder if there is any (standard) liquid weight for eggs in cake or bread recipes? I use a bread recipe where everything is precisely weighed in grams, not volume. An egg is an imprecise unit.... It might be fun to weigh some "average" graded eggs and see how they compare to your "down the street" ones. Might not have made any difference at all if you left one large one out. Perhaps you subconsciously did it on purpose?

      7 Replies
      1. re: Scargod

        Eggs are pretty evenly graded by weight in the US - you'd only be able to tell the difference in huge quantitied. American recipes presume large eggs unless otherwise specified.

        1. re: Scargod

          In her helpful book, "Cookwise", Shirley O. Corriher gives these ounces-per-dozen weights for different egg sizes: medium 21; large 24; extra-large 27; jumbo 30. There are definitely slight size variations among the eggs in a storebought dozen - more obvious ones in the cartons I get from a local poultry farm. By the way, the 3-digit number on the end of a carton of storebought eggs is the day of the year on which the eggs were packed; e.g. 025 is January 25. Since when very fresh eggs are hard-boiled they can be hard to peel, this helps avoid that annoyance.

          1. re: greygarious

            I didn't know poultry producers also used the Julian calendar. Neat :)

            1. re: greygarious

              I weighed my last dozen of store-bought, farm-raised eggs. These were extra-large by gg's account. They ranged from 2.1 ounces, or 60 grams, to 2.3 ounces, or 65 grams. That means that for every eight extra-large eggs you get an extra (one) large egg. 8=9 or 1-1/2 eggs per carton by size upgrade.
              I'm not sure how important this is if you are sloppy with the emptying of an egg (shell). Over the course of a dozen eggs this might mean the difference of +/- one eggs worth of liquid.

              1. re: greygarious

                Dang, why didn't I read this two hours ago.
                I did the Julia Child recipe for hardboiled eggs for the first time and used my freshest eggs. (And yes, there is NO grey around the yolk) But Mr Shallots hates the way they peal. The eggs were laid Friday. That's pretty darn fresh.
                Thanks for that additional education.

                1. re: shallots

                  When you have really fresh eggs, they're great for poaching. The white holds together much better than on old eggs.

                  1. re: shallots

                    I recall that on one of his TV shows, Jacques Pepin said that in order to prevent the gray line, you need to put the HB eggs into cold water right away, then crack the shell slightly. Something about the sulfur gas wanting to migrate toward cold, so that it heads toward the center while cooking, then out into the cold water afterwards. But I have also read that the gray comes from overcooking. Somebody - maybe Julia C? said a pinhole in the wide end prevents shells cracking while boiling and I found the opposite to be true...BTW, the Julian date is PACKING, not laying, although they are probably close together. Pepin said to start the raw eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, turn off heat, and leave in covered pan for 10-13 min. What's Julia's method?