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.