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Aug 27, 2009 01:39 PM

fresh eggs and baking...

I just bought some very-fresh eggs. I also have some not-as-fresh, but still safe, eggs, in my fridge. Aside from the fact that they might be wasted in baking (as opposed to being fried and eaten straight), is there any reason NOT to use the freshest eggs when baking a cake?

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  1. nope. you're always best off using the freshest eggs in baking because the structural integrity of the egg begins to break down as it won't provide as much leavening to your baked goods, and when whipped it certainly won't hold as much air as a fresher egg will.

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Good to know! I think I will hard-boil the less-fresh ones. I've heard they are easier to peel if they're not dead-fresh.

      1. re: bella_sarda

        older eggs are *absolutely* easier to peel. i always buy them as far in advance as i can and let them "age" before i hard-cook them.

    2. save out a few of the very-fresh eggs for poaching. They hold together so well and such a delight.

      2 Replies
      1. re: weezycom

        i agree. or soft-boiled with excellent salt. mmmmmm.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I was only able to save one---I will poach it ASAP!!!

      2. Meringue whips up better with older eggs.

        3 Replies
        1. re: toveggiegirl

          i never like to disagree with my fellow hounds, but i have to jump in on this one.

          it's always best to use the *freshest* possible eggs for meringue. the whites separate more cleanly so there's less of a chance that any miniscule bits of yolk will end up in there, and they're more stable than older egg whites so they hold their shape better once whipped.

          older whites may be *easier* to whip because they're looser, but that also means they typically result in an inferior product to one made with fresh whites.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Different opinions are good and valid! There is no one correct way and we all learn from each other. I am no pastry chef but based on what I've heard and read, using old egg whites is very common in making French pastry (particulary macaron or meringue).

            As Dorie Greenspan says, "You can get more air into old egg whites. Chefs never use brand-new eggs. Eggs are kept at room temperature; they keep them out for three days."

            This Pierre Hermé macaron recipe uses egg whites that are a week old.

            And perhaps most colorfully described pastry chef Pascal Janvier says, "I used to work in the place where every day we moved the egg whites over one spot on the shelf. And we were not allowed to use the egg whites until they were at the right spot on the shelf. We were forbidden. When I was a young apprentice I used to have to hold my nose when using egg whites, this is how old they were. But now if you do that, no? You will be jailed."

            If you prefer fresh egg whites, that's great. I think that whatever works for you is te best technique to use.

            1. re: toveggiegirl

              "If you prefer fresh egg whites, that's great. I think that whatever works for you is te best technique to use."
              we're in agreement there :)

              for the record, i wouldn't consider 3-day or week-old eggs to be "old" - to me, that's still fresh. when i say old, i mean close to or past the "sell-by" date. and i've never liked the results i get when using those for meringue, but if that's what works for you, i'm envious. it would save me the hassle of having to run out & buy fresh eggs when i want to make meringue and realize that all i have in the house are the old ones i'm saving for hard-cooking!

        2. I try to use the freshest eggs when baking, eating straight up, etc. for all of the reasons listed. Older eggs almost always get hard boiled in my house. Deviled eggs, hard boiled eggs as a snack or part of breakfast...all fantastic uses due to the easy peeling. Nothing drives me more mad than attempting to peel fresh eggs!