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Jan 11, 2010 07:25 AM

Substitute for raw egg yolk

Ina Garten's chocolate buttercream recipe that accompanies Beatty's chocolate Cake calls for a raw egg yolk. The frosting is delicious, but the first time I made it, I was very worried (even though I took a generous taste it 4 hours before anyone else did) that someone might get sick. I tried the recipe a second time, without the yolk, and it just wasn't the same. Anyone have an idea for a substitute for the raw egg yolk? Thanks.

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  1. If I were to substitute, I would probably just add a tbls of mayo, for the added fat. I think you could just leave it out, if the raw yolk bothers you so much. I think the frosting recipe is fine without it.

    1. First, my disclaimer...I'm no expert (I only play one on the internet. LOL.). Also, I have used raw egg for a variety of things for 40 years and never had a problem.

      Having said that, I have always understood (mistakenly, perhaps) that the inside of an egg is sterile, and that it is contaminants _on the shell_ that cause problems. If you put the egg in a bath of vinegar for a short time or perhaps a quick dip in boiling water (not long enough to cook it), wouldn't _that_ problem be solved?

      Maybe there's a biology major or farm science person with a specialty in the world of eggs listening in. If so, what say you?

      4 Replies
      1. re: The Professor

        Salmonella can be found inside of the shell.

        You could substitute a pasteurized egg yolk. Pasteurized eggs can usually be found with the "regular" eggs at the grocery store.

        1. re: blue_skiesMN

          pasteurized eggs would be my suggestion as well.

          1. re: blue_skiesMN

            Okay...well I guess I learned something here (though I'll have to look uo the reference that suggested the "inside is sterile" thing...I know I saw that in print somewhere).

            If it's worrisome to use raw egg, then by all means...substitute with pasteurized eggs. They are becoming more readily available these days .

            1. re: blue_skiesMN

              Yup-- there are two ways that an egg can become contaminated-- one is from fecal contact during laying/processing, which contaminates the exterior of the egg. The other way is if the hen has a salmonella infection in her reproductive tract (not uncommon), in which case the interior of the egg can be contaminated. Crazy, eh?

          2. Interesting that Ina would put a raw egg yolk in a buttercream. I checked the recipe at the FN website and I think the egg yolk is there just to keep the buttercream emulsified (binding properties.) The recipe certainly has enough butter in it for the "fat" monthfeel. Sounds delish, actually.
            I'm surprised you could tell the difference bewteen the buttercream with and without the egg yolk, was it the texture or the taste that was different? I would just skip the yolk, buttercream doesn't usually have raw egg yolk in it. Try a tablespoon or so of heavy cream as a sub, that will give you some emulsifying properties and some more fat. Did you try a pasteurized egg product? I don't use them but maybe that would do the trick.

            There are subs for egg like flaxseed, fruit purees, lecithin, gelatin, arrowroot, even tofu, etc. but I don't think you want to get into adulterating your buttercream.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bushwickgirl

              The frosting with the egg yolk was shinier and silkier than the frosting without. That's why I was so interested in finding a substitute. I am so glad you all responded, and whether or not these substitutes work, I feel I have learned a lot. I am new to Chowhound and this was my first post. So thank you all.

              1. re: bushwickgirl

                I just tried making this frosting and used your suggestion of heavy cream as a substitute and it turned out great. I can't compare to how it would've turned out with the egg yolk, but it's very delicious and the consistency seems to be fine. I am pregnant and wanted to avoid the raw yolk. Thanks for the tip!

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  I just saw your post; it's been a while now since I made the recipes with and without the egg yolk, but as I recall, there was a beautiful sheen and a creaminess to the frosting with the yolk that it just didn't have without the yolk.

                2. this is by far my favorite frosting recipe...everyone always raves about the barefoot contessa frosting for being smooth and so yummy. i was also a little skeptical of using a raw egg and mostly about leaving frosted cupcakes out or having to laying disclaimer to pregnant friends and coworkers. but what i ended up doing and didnt even intend to do...was that i had made the frosting an extra day ahead and was so exhausted to bake the cake i put it in a sealed container and refrigerated it. the next day it was hard as a rock (it is made out of a ton of butter) and read to microwave it slowly and stir until its smooth again. you'll have to harden it back up in the fridge and microwave again if you overdo it.

                  so i think between buying super fresh eggs, maybe even pasteurized, and the microwave you should be good to go. heres a pic of the cupcakes i just made from that recipe!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jac1125

                    RE: Photo, nice touch with the piped frosting, good pastry bag skills!

                  2. Morning all, =-)

                    I LOVE Ina and Paula..but, i goota tell ya.. for those of us thgat are allergi to raw eggs in anything, this is very scary, especially if we're not told that there is a raw egg in the recipe. We ALWAYS have to ask at restaurants if there's a raw egg in dressings, soups and many desserts. OR even the amount of eggs used in a cooked recipes can set us off into some serious reactions. It's no fun.. but, I love to cook and am always on wonderfully fun and informative sites such as this.. Have a great weekend everyone.

                    Km J. , Madison, WI.