Does Sugar Truly Cook Egg Whites For Buttercream ?

Decorating By msdagwood Updated 4 Aug 2008 , 6:38pm by sherik

msdagwood Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 3:01am
post #1 of 22

I was watching food network, and heard that when making buttercream (with butter, not shortening), that I can whip the sugar right into the egg whites to form soft peaks, and this basically cooks the egg whites. If this is true, I am changing my basic buttercream recipe. I just don't like using the stove for making icing, and I've always used Wilton Meringue power to get around the fresh egg whites. icon_rolleyes.gif

21 replies
varika Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 3:09am
post #2 of 22

It's supposed to be if you use the sugar syrup that you've just cooked on the stove; the sugar doesn't cook the eggs, the heat does. But you can use thos pasteurized egg white things if you want, too. They don't whip as well, I'm told, though.

PinkZiab Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 3:15am
post #3 of 22

the sugar stabilizes the egg whites, somewhat (not as stable as a swiss or italian meringue), but it will not "cook" them in the sense that they will not be brought to the temperature of pasteurization.

KoryAK Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 3:47am
post #4 of 22

Yeah, only hot sugar "cooks" (really pasteurizes) egg whites. Just regular sugar won't (french meringue)

msdagwood Posted 31 Jul 2008 , 11:36pm
post #5 of 22

Maybe it was just too good to be true. I will need to heat up the egg whites and continue my research...

BlueDevil Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 1:37am
post #6 of 22

No!

You need to heat the eggs to a certain temperature to kill salmonella...trust me you do NOT want this for yourself, family, friends, or CUSTOMERS!!

Tashablueyes Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 5:34am
post #7 of 22

Okay, so I read this post and then the very next night I was watching Food Network and Duff TOTALLY said that sugar cooks the eggs, I rewound it to make sure he wasn't saying heated sugar. Hmmm.... I'm not sure I buy it, but he went to culinary school and generally sounds like he knows what he's talking about.

Tashablueyes Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 5:36am
post #8 of 22

And I did find this from the American Egg Board... again, not sure it really changes my mind on the raw egg situation... I think I'll continue to be paranoid.

Raw Egg Whites Although it is possible for Salmonella to be in both the white and the yolk of the egg, the white does not readily support bacterial growth. Cold soufflés, mousses, and chiffons containing raw beaten whites require refrigeration to maintain their character, and added safety factor. Such dishes might be considered low risk for healthy individuals.

HerBoudoir Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 12:51pm
post #9 of 22

I believe Duff uses an Italian meringue-style buttercream, where hot sugar syrup is poured into whipped egg whites.

From a food safety POV, this is a little iffy when it comes to getting the egg whites hot enough to kill any present bacteria.

I prefer to make a Swiss meringue style, because you heat the sugar and egg whites over a double boiler (whisk the whole time to prevent scrambled eggs). I think it's a more stable meringue-based buttercream, plus I keep an eye on the temperature to make sure it comes up to where the egg whites really are cooked.

MaxTRexmom Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 1:03pm
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tashablueyes

Okay, so I read this post and then the very next night I was watching Food Network and Duff TOTALLY said that sugar cooks the eggs, I rewound it to make sure he wasn't saying heated sugar. Hmmm.... I'm not sure I buy it, but he went to culinary school and generally sounds like he knows what he's talking about.




I went to culinary school too and trust me there is nothing about sugar that can cook food or kill bacteria. I haven't seen that episode but I assume he was probably meaning a hot sugar syrup even if he didn't say that specifically. Maybe you could email CCC and ask in case he knows a secret way. Never tried that though so I don't know if they respond to
?s...

MaisieBake Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 3:01am
post #11 of 22

The HOT sugar cooks the eggs. If he was making Italian meringue buttercream, he was using hot sugar whether he was specific about its temperature or not.

An instant-read thermometer might be useful if you're going to go for IMBC. The mixture needs to reach 160 degrees when you add the hot sugar to the egg whites.

Tallmama Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 3:18am
post #12 of 22

I've heard Duff say on one of his episodes that the salmonilla is from the outside of the egg. Not the inside of the egg itself. I don't know where is egg degree is from but he seems to know alot about eggs.

miny Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 3:20am
post #13 of 22

Maybe if CCC doesn't answer the food network will, they need to be on top of what their chefs say, even more when people's health are at risk, that way we all will get a clear answer to this matter. thumbs_up.gif

sherik Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 3:22am
post #14 of 22

I saw it also, Duff put granulated white sugar (not melted) into the egg whites.

PinkZiab Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 3:24am
post #15 of 22

I also went to culinary school, and that by no means makes me an authority on anything, but we were taught that a french meringue (uncooked whites whipped with sugar) should only be used in recipes that will be further cooked. The sugar alone does not COOK the egg whites. And furthermore, french meringue is the LEAST stable of the meringues and is another reason it is not usually used on its own.

MaisieBake Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 4:06am
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Quote:

I've heard Duff say on one of his episodes that the salmonilla is from the outside of the egg. Not the inside of the egg itself. I don't know where is egg degree is from but he seems to know alot about eggs.




Then he's wrong.

From the CDC:

How eggs become contaminated

Unlike eggborne salmonellosis of past decades, the current epidemic is due to intact and disinfected grade A eggs. Salmonella enteritidis silently infects the ovaries of healthy appearing hens and contaminates the eggs before the shells are formed.

Most types of Salmonella live in the intestinal tracts of animals and birds and are transmitted to humans by contaminated foods of animal origin. Stringent procedures for cleaning and inspecting eggs were implemented in the 1970s and have made salmonellosis caused by external fecal contamination of egg shells extremely rare. However, unlike eggborne salmonellosis of past decades, the current epidemic is due to intact and disinfected grade A eggs. The reason for this is that Salmonella enteritidis silently infects the ovaries of healthy appearing hens and contaminates the eggs before the shells are formed.

KoryAK Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 4:11am
post #17 of 22

what pinkziab said is totally true. buttercream made with a french meringue would break down really quickly, if it would come together at all (never tried it). Some IMBC recipes call for some sugar added to cold whites to stablize them before adding the rest as sugar syrup. Maybe thats what he was doing.

msdagwood Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 3:53pm
post #18 of 22

Okay, I knew the folks here at CCC would have good advice on this. I will heat up the egg whites with the sugar when I use raw egg whites - it is always better to play it safe. I truly love Duff and his staff and I totally support them and food network. They are so much fun to watch, I only wish I could be a part of their extended family. I think we got our answer here - continue to heat up the egg whites. Peace and love to everybody. Ann

jenfraiz Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 4:20pm
post #19 of 22

I've made Duff's buttercream before, and though I can't vouch for its non-salmonella-ness, I've never gotten sick from it. I only make it for my family and close friends though. Also, it seems stable enough to me, though on the soft side. I don't think I'd try to pipe anything too elaborate with it.

Edit Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 5:09pm
post #20 of 22

Not all eggs are contaminated with salmonella. Chances are, you don't get sick from the egg whites as PP said. But I personally wouldn't take a chance with customers. Not even my family. It really doesnt' take that long to make SMBC and be on the safe side. Besides it is really stable, creamy and yummy. I'm sure if Duff uses raw egg whites in his BC, it is the pasturized kind. At least that' s what our Health Department would require.

KoryAK Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 11:09pm
post #21 of 22

You know I'll bet he does... cause you can buy them in a gigantic 30# bucket and not have to crack all those stupid, tiny 1oz things (like I used to do). The industrial stuff is whippable. I go thru about a bucket every 2 weeks and I only do 4 weddings and 6 parties a week on average. I'm sure they go thru lots more. Haven't I seen them using buckets of icing tho? Maybe they were just stored there, but for some reason I am thinking it was pre-bought.

sherik Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 6:38pm
post #22 of 22

When I saw Duff do it he was cracking eggs.

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