Eggs play an important role in food preparation and are used to create the structure and texture of many well-known dishes. Always look for eggs bearing the British Lion mark, which guarantees that they have been produced to the highest standards of freshness and food safety.
Binding and Coating
Eggs help bind mixtures together – they are used as the "glue" in recipes. This glue helps chefs make burgers, for instance. They are also regularly used as a coating for fried food, either on their own or together with flour or breadcrumbs, creating a seal around the ingredients.
Eggs are also used as a glaze. Beaten egg is brushed over bread and pastries such as sausage rolls, before they are put in the oven, to produce a golden, shiny glaze during baking.
Eggs are used to thicken a variety of foods such as custards, sauces and soups.
They are also added to make mixtures out of ingredients that do not mix on their own. A mixture like this is called an emulsion. For example, oil and water on their own do not mix. However, when egg yolk is added they combine to an emulsion called mayonnaise.
Eggs are able to trap air when they are whisked, lightening mixtures and helping them to rise. This is very important when making cakes, mousses, soufflés and meringues.