The blog of cooking-ez.com

Egg yolks and caster sugar


Egg yolks and caster sugar
We often come across recipes where we need to mix egg yolks with caster sugar.

This would appear to be a very ordinary and simple thing to do but, be warned, these two ingredients can behave oddly together.
45K 2 10 4.5
Grade this page:

Last modified on: February 15th 2018

Egg yolks and caster sugar
Let’s take confectioner's custard (crème pâtissière, or french pastry cream) as an example: there’s a stage at which the egg yolks are mixed with the sugar. Is there anything particularly difficult about this? Not really. We mix the yolks and sugar together (without whisking) and that’s all, but there’s an important little tip well worth knowing. You might be tempted to separate the egg yolks from the whites and simply tip them into the weighed-out sugar, as shown in the photo below. Then why not go off to do something else, such as putting the milk on to heat up, before coming back to the egg yolks and sugar mixture later?

egg yolks and caster sugar



Why not? Because you will regret it if you do! Something starts to happen as soon as the egg yolks come into contact with the sugar. The sugar sucks out the water from the egg yolks (we say that sugar is hygroscopic) and this effectively begins to “cook” the surface of the yolks. The result is patches of hard yolk (like in a hard-boiled egg) which will not mix in when you add the boiling milk. These will remain as small lumps in your custard and spoil its normal smooth, creamy texture.

This might not seem like a big deal, but it happens very rapidly. If the egg yolks and sugar are in contact for longer than a minute, the reaction will begin and little hard lumps will start to develop.

How can we avoid this? It’s really quite simple, and this goes for any recipe involving a mixture of egg yolks and sugar: put the egg yolks into bowl, then add the sugar required and mix immediately with a spoon or, better still, with a soft spatula. Once mixed like this, the mixture can be left until later without any problem.

egg yolks and caster suger mixed




As a precaution, you can do what professional pastry chefs do: 1) make sure you use this method of mixing immediately, 2) strain your mixture of egg yolks+sugar+milk+vanilla+cornflour through a fine sieve when you pour it back into the saucepan. This way, you can be sure that your custard will be perfectly smooth. You might well be surprised by what you see left in the sieve: lumps, milk skin, bits of cooked egg yolk, shreds of vanilla pod…

straining cream



It is worth mentioning that professional pastry chefs will often strain their cold custard a second time through a very fine sieve before using, to make absolutely sure that the texture is smooth. But maybe that’s going a bit far for us amateurs…

To sum up: A recipe where egg yolks are mixed with sugar? Mix these two together immediately with a soft spatula, then you can safely leave them while you get on with the rest of the recipe.



Back to top of page

Lasts posts
In praise of Mont d'Or cheese
In praise of Mont d'Or cheese
Do you know the Mont d'Or, this extraordinary cheese from the Haut-Doubs in France, with a unique taste and appearance, which can be eaten both raw and cooked? I'll tell you a few words about it, and with some tips on how to choose it and cook it. .
6295 November 27th 2021
Cooking scallops
Cooking scallops
We are, as I write these lines, in the season of the scallops, if you like that it is necessary to benefit from it as much as possible, although it is alas not cheap. I like scallops a lot, but I have to admit that it has naturally little taste, or, said differently, it takes the taste of what...
2,5855 November 23th 2021
The peak of the apple season
The peak of the apple season
As I write these lines, we are in the middle of the apple season, and it's an apple year, as you may have noticed if you have apple trees around you, they are bursting with fruit! Excellent news for the people in the west of France in particular, but let's have a little thought for those in the...
1,2015 October 23th 2021
Remove bones from fish
Remove bones from fish
Let's talk about fish: It's not a scoop, it's much more pleasant to eat fish from which all the bones have been carefully removed, even if it's a rather painful and time-consuming job, the result is worthy of your efforts. Here are some important points to keep in mind.
1,1355 October 16th 2021
Introduction to New Nordic Buffet Delicacies
Introduction to New Nordic Buffet Delicacies
Nordic delicacies reflect culinary proficiency from Nordic nations of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. It features a range of simple and classic flavors and ingredients that produce satisfying meals when combined. As is the case in other regions, the flavors and ingredients often...
8,379 August 10th 2021 Sponsored article.
Other pages you may also like
Steam for baking bread
Steam for baking bread
What does steam have to do with bread-making? This is not only a bakers' secret, it is something you might not think of at all: if you make bread and bake it like a cake, you will end up with bread, but pale and with a thick, hard crust – a long way from the golden-brown crusty loaf you had in...
116K4.3 June 16th 2021
The right weight of pastry for a pie
The right weight of pastry for a pie
Let's try to solve a thorny problem: How much dough will I need when I make my next pie? You're planning to make a pie, you're going to use your favourite mould or circle, but how much pastry will you need to fill it completely with a well spread pastry, without being too thin, or on the contrary...
23K3.4 March 20th 2020
What can I use for blind baking a pastry case?
What can I use for blind baking a pastry case?
When it comes to home-made desserts, tarts are always popular. They can be divided into two basic types: those cooked with their filling, such as an apricot and almond cream tart, and those where the filling is added after baking the pastry case, such as a strawberry tart or chocolate tart. For...
73K4.1 May 2nd 2017
A few tips for effective kneading at home
A few tips for effective kneading at home
When you have to knead dough for bread or some other recipe, you may well use a food processor or the type of machine known as a stand mixer. The best-known brands are Kenwood and KitchenAid. They are useful tools, but here are a few tips to help you get the best out of them.
198K 23.6 June 23th 2021
What is the difference between bakery and patisserie?
What is the difference between bakery and patisserie?
This is a question that you may well have asked yourself and which I will attempt to answer. In France the two trades of "boulangerie" (bakery) and "pâtisserie" (patisserie and confectionery) have always been quite distinct, but where exactly do the boundaries lie? .
80K 14.0 February 7th 2017
Post your comment or question
Posted by:
I am not a leaving thing
Your 2 comments or questions on this page
  • What about "Home sweet bakery"?
    Posted by jh january 14th 2020 at 15:43 (n° 2)
  • What is the best name should be given to a small household business that concentrate in making sweet cake, Bread and bun, pizza and pineapple pie?
    Posted by Anonymous january 12th 2020 at 19:25 (n° 1)
Follow this page
If you are interested in this page, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the page is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page