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The key to a better spongecake

When I would take my kids grocery shopping, I have to admit the baking section was one of their favorites. The aroma of fresh-baked goods drew their attention as sniffing delightedly they would beg me to buy one of their favorite treats.

Aroma is a key component for most baked goods. Sponge cakes are popularly used in snack cakes. And recent research shows that sponge cake aroma, form and flavor depend on the use of egg ingredients.

As part of a series of studies that evaluated the performance of egg replacers compared to egg ingredients, the research team elected to study sponge cake due to its universal availability and simple flavor. Sponge cake, a type of foam cake in its simplest form, relies on flour, sugar, whole eggs and salt for its base ingredients.

Sponge cakes offer a resilient structure suitable for filling, frosting and packaging. Whole eggs, balanced with sugar and flour, contribute much to this structure, for slightly chewy, yet airy, finely grained, evenly textured cake.

Researchers prepared a control product made with eggs and compared it to seven different types of egg replacers commonly recommended by manufacturers for this type of application.

Sponge cake quality most negatively affected by replacing eggs included batter viscosity and the finished cake’s color/appearance and texture. The control cake, made with whole eggs produced a product with golden brown color, a high rise, even top, uniformly open cell structure and sweet, eggy baked good, aroma and flavor. Sensory panelists evaluating organoleptic qualities found the product made with eggs most appealing.

Different egg replacer ingredients display varying water absorption capacities. A lead researcher said that if an ingredient absorbs an excessive amount of water, such as fiber-based ingredients or some blends, including hydrocolloids, additional water may need to be added to the formula to obtain the correct batter viscosity to flow through production equipment.

This can lengthen bake times to get the correct internal temperature and final moisture content, slowing the production process and producing an inferior cake.

The research results provide evidence that shows sponge cake baked using egg ingredients supply a superior product that will withstand the decorating, filling and packaging requirements of the snack cake industry.

You can find research results about the sponge cake on a new website dedicated to the study results called RealEggs.org. And, American Egg Board’s online Egg Product Buyers’ Guide can help find a supplier for real egg ingredients.

2016-09-26 13:37:13
 

Muffins made better with…

Is it just me, or are muffins one of the most versatile of all baked goods when it comes to potential for variety? I know we had a cupcake craze going for a while and I do enjoy them but muffins just seem more practical. The perfect single serve baked good for business meetings, a quick breakfast, snacks, you name it.

I think I have company in my opinion as muffins and donuts comprise 48% of packaged sweet snack sales according to data from the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). While preparation is simple, most muffins are flavored or have inclusions.

Recently an independent research firm conducted a series of studies comparing egg replacers to egg ingredients in a number of baking scenarios, with muffins as one of them. Researchers selected for testing a crème cake blueberry muffin formula; while a relatively new formulation it is popular and easy for bakers to make. A pre-blend allows for test standardization.

Researchers prepared a control product made with eggs and compared it to nine different types of egg replacers commonly recommended by manufacturers for this type of application.

In addition to batter viscosity, flavor and texture were most affected.  Sensory panelists unanimously preferred the control to the other formulas.

It appears from testing that peak top muffin formulations, whether blueberry or another flavor benefit from the traditional use of eggs as a primary ingredient.

And while texture and flavor are vital concerns, processing is equally as important to the baker.

Researchers said egg replacement ingredients as a group produced a more highly viscous batter than that made with eggs. A highly viscous batter can cause uneven distribution of ingredients, especially particulates like blueberries. And proper batter viscosity is important for proper flow through depositing machinery.

The empirical evidence shows muffins baked using egg ingredients produce a quality product when evaluating aroma, texture and taste. In addition, the batter created using eggs allows for uniform commercial production and predictable results.

You can find the research documents about this study at RealEggs.org. And, American Egg Board’s online Egg Product Buyers’ Guide can help find a supplier for real egg ingredients. 

2016-09-12 17:25:43