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September 06, 2009
Baking Tip: Substituting Vinegar for an Egg
Okay, so who knows about substituting vinegar for eggs in baking already? I'm sure that this baking tip is one that many people are aware of. However, I'd only heard of it 18 months ago and it's taken me that long to be brave (or eggless!) enough to try it out. So, I thought that I'd blog it to promote even more uses of vinegar.
A friend of mine told me that a tablespoon of vinegar can be a substitute for an egg in baking. Admittedly I had quite a few questions and was a bit sceptical about it. Such as, what kind of vinegar can I use - malt, white, red or any? How does it work? And concerned about how a cake would taste with vinegar in it. Anyway, when baking Nigella's Clementine Cake recently, which asks for 6 large eggs and I only had 5, I decided to give it a go since the clementines had the potential to cover up the vinegar taste. Quick google search (don't I love it!) gave me enough details to give it a go.
So, in answer to my questions. I'd recommend using a tablespoon of white or cider vinegar with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda too as a substitute for an egg in a recipe. Only use vinegar as an egg substitute when there's a rising agent in the recipe, such as baking powder or self-raising flour.
Perhaps someone knows more and could tell me more about the chemistry of how it works, please?
The only thing I gleaned is that when bicarb of soda and vinegar mix, it reacts to produce carbon dioxide, which is a gas and fizzes. Is that what makes it rise? Here's what it looks like when it mixes.
Did it affect the cake's flavour? Well, I used cider vinegar and could definitely smell it when I was mixing the cake. However, perhaps it's a bit like George's marvellous medicine, because there was no hint of vinegar in the tasting of the cake! I brought some into work and noone could guess the secret ingredient! Of course, it could have been because of the good old clementines dominating the flavour of the cake... But I'm definitely up for giving it another go. When I was googling, I also found some rather cool chemistry experiments, an eggle ss cooking website and vinegar cake recipes... Perhaps, I'll try them out another day!