I should know how to crack an egg. Let’s look at approximately how many eggs I have cracked just making cupcakes for this blog:
|Approximate years of blogging||3|
|* Number of weeks per year||52|
|= Approximate number of weeks of blogging||156|
|Approximate cupcake recipes baked per week||1|
|* Average number of eggs per cupcake recipe||2|
|= Approximate number of eggs used per week||2|
|Approximate number of cupcakes used for weekly blogging (approximate number of eggs used per week * number of weeks blogging)||312|
|Number of weddings for which I have baked cupcakes||3|
|* Average number of eggs used per wedding||50|
|= Approximate number of eggs used for all weddings||150|
|Approximate number of eggs used for cupcakes on this blog (approximate number of eggs used for weekly blogging + approximate number of eggs used for weddings)||462|
I know that all of that math was a bit geeky. But, it only seems appropriate since my free review copy of Cooking for Geeks is where I learned how to crack an egg.
It turns out that I cracked all 462 of those eggs incorrectly – my skills with eggs weren’t all they were cracked up to be. Way too often, I found myself playing the game of “Try to remove the eggshell bit from the cracked egg” (the baking version of the kid’s game Operation).
So what’s the trick to the perfect crack?
Tap it (the egg) on the counter, not the edge of a bowl. The shell of an egg cracked on a flat surface will have larger pieces that aren’t pushed into the egg. Eggs cracked on a sharp lip are much more likely to have little shards of shell poked into them that then end up in the bowl and have to be fetched out.
I had to try it myself:
|Here’s how I have always cracked eggs – against the edge of a bowl.|
|Look at the crack. See how there are lots of tiny pieces.|
|Here’s me cracking an egg against the counter.|
|Look how clean the crack is – no tiny bits!!|
I can’t believe what a huge difference the counter method makes. I am never going back!!
More on Cooking For Geeks
While Cooking for Geeks, by Jeff Potter, does have its share of recipes, it’s more of a book for people (geeks, specifically) who want to understand the whys, not just the how tos. All of the recipes in the book include explanations about why they work, and Potter always starts with the very basics. He even teaches you how to test for doneness with a toothpick – for brownies, insert the toothpick 1″; for cakes, push the toothpick in all the way.
Other than learning how to crack an egg, I loved the section that talked about leaveners. It has one of the best explanations that I’ve seen on the difference between baking powder and baking soda and when to use one over the other. I also liked the section on sugar caramelization and how it relates to oven temperature – fascinating stuff for baking geeks. It’s a book that you could easily sit down and read from cover to cover (I just read the baking sections, but I’ll come back to the others should I ever decide to actually cook).
How to Win a Copy of Cooking for Geeks
Potter is offering two copies of Cooking for Geeks to Cupcake Project readers. Here’s how to enter:
- Leave a comment on this post with a story of a lesson you learned that changed the way you do something forever (like my egg cracking story). It could be anything – maybe you learned a better way to fold a shirt or to keep track of coupons. I’m sure we’ll all learn a lot from each other! Leave your email address in the comment so that I can contact you if you win.
- Become a Facebook fan and leave a comment on this post on Facebook (it must be a comment on this post, not just a comment on my Wall) and tell me what makes you a geek in the kitchen.
- All entries must be in by Aug. 31, 11:59 PM CDT.
- Only two entries are allowed per person (one on Facebook and one on this blog).
- I will randomly draw one blog winner and one Facebook winner and post the winners on this post on Sept. 1.
- If I do not hear back from a winner within one week, I will draw a new winner.
- Winners will have a choice of a print or eBook. International winners are only eligible to receive the eBook.
One Parting Tip About Eggs
While I was working on this post and talking about fishing around for the little bits of cracked eggs, Jonathan told me that he always uses a big piece of cracked egg shell to scoop out any little pieces of egg shell. The little pieces stick to the big piece and come right out. I tried it and it works! I can’t believe that he was holding out on me with that knowledge!