Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to recycle egg whites 

Ever used a bunch of egg yolks for a recipe and got left with unwanted egg whites? It happens to me all the time...when I cook Pasta alla Carbonara, when I bake a particular cake and so on. I hate to waist food so, when this happens, I save my albumen in the fridge (in a glass tupperware) and repurpose it on a new dish. Coincidentally this week we ended up with 6 egg whites so, today it was time to bake them into a nutty yummy cake. I found some inspiration online and then adjusted the recipe for the ingredients I had on hands and this is what I came up with.

Egg whites cake - Ingredients:

6 egg whites
210 grams of sugar (I used a bit less because of the altitude)
120 grams of pecans
114 grams of flour
70 grams of cooled melted butter
one single serve dose of apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract

To begin I put the nuts in the blender (I love my ninja) and chopped them finely. I melted the butter for less than a minute in the microwave and then left it to cool down. I also turned the oven on at 340 to preheat.

I then proceeded to add my first ingredients in a glass bowl (do not use plastic bowls as the whites may not stiffen. The bowl needs to be grease free and glass seems to work best). I forgot to take a shot of the first step so instead I took a photo of what I started with...the egg whites, sugar and vanilla.

I beat this mixture for about 10 minutes. The whites need to get really stiff and 'pointy' like for a meringue cookie.

I added the chopped pecans and reserved a little to sprinkle later as a topping.

Very gently fold in the nuts and take care to always fold in the same direction (gently enough to avoid 'defluffing' the egg whites). Then I added the sifted flour (I always sift to avoid clumps). 

Once again very gently fold in all the flour. When it's incorporated well add the melted butter.

Fold in all the butter completely and gently, and add the apple sauce.

Mix well until completely incorporated again, and pour into a cake mold. I love to use silicon molds as they require no greasing and they make it super easy to remove the cake from the pan. Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top of your cake.

Bake without ever opening the oven. Insert toothpick in the center after 40 minutes to check if it is cooked. The toothpick will come out clean if the cake it's ready, if batter sticks to it then you need to keep cooking (and checking) at 5 minutes increments. When the cake is cooked let it cool down, then 'peel' it out of the mold and place it on a serving dish (this is when the silicon pan comes in very handy...it just literally peels off!) This is the finished product :)

It seemed to have been enjoyed both by my friend V and by her 2 children. We ate almost half of it in one sitting! LOL. In my case high altitude made a few differences. The cake should have risen more, but this is one of the problems with living at over 6,000 feet elevation. Baked goods, especially stiffened egg whites have problems 'growin' at these heights. If you are at sea level, or near sea level, you should have no trouble getting a fluffy, airy, delicious spongy cake! 

The apple sauce is one of my ordinary tricks for baking. I always substitute half of the butter with it. It keeps cakes moist, adds a little natural sweetness and cuts down on the calories drammatically. I still use butter because I love the flavor it gives and, off course, because some fat is good for you...if in moderation! If you don't want to use apple sauce, just double the weight for the butter ^__^

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