The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

butter cream, raw egg?

petebert's picture
petebert

butter cream, raw egg?

I borrowed The Cake Bible from the library. Started by making a basic cake with basic butter cream icing. The egg in the icing is pretty much raw, any concerns there? You boil some corn syrup and sugar, remove from stove and almost immediately pour into the eggs so they might be slightly cooked from the heat.

Chausiubao's picture
Chausiubao

If you're worried about foodborne contamination, you can get pasteurized eggs, and there really isn't anything inside of the egg that could hurt you.

BettyR's picture
BettyR

How many times in your life and the life of your children have either you or they licked the batter bowl when you are baking a cake or eaten half the chocolate chip cookie dough before it was baked. There was raw eggs in all of that and nobody ever gets sick do they?


 


French Silk Pie is chocolate, butter and raw eggs.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I have witnessed and been party to generations of bowl and beater lickers...haven't seen a licker drop dead yet.


Jeff

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I would be ok eating my own free range chicken eggs (when I had them) but not store bought. Today's food supply is so overstressed and antibiotic resistant that the salmonella and e.coli strains are highly resistant and virulant, unlike even recent past.


If you are feeding young, elderly or immunocompomised be even more careful.


Many bacteria, like e.coli have HEAT RESISTANT toxins, meaning that even if you kill the bacteria the part that makes you sick can still be present, if the food has been improperly handled before cooking.


After having raised some calves off a dairy farm that got sick with antibiotic resistant salmonella and e.coli, resistant to ALL tested antibiotics, I'm pretty respectful of the bugs.


It is believed there are about 30X more salmonella cases each year than what is reported. Not sure about the e.coli. I've treated my own baby horses, calves and puppies (not including my patients) and e.coli is not an easy bug to treat nowadays.


Personally, I'm getting more and more leary about our commercial food supply. Our beef, chicken and vegetables are treated with so many chemicals it makes it frightening that we put this crap into our bodies. With the methicillin resistant staph.aureus and mulit-antibiotic resistant e.coli that I see at work everyday, so different than 20 years ago when I started medical school it makes me wonder what we will be dealing with in 20 more years.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I am in 101% agreement with the current state of the food supply and should add that I eat eggs from the neighbors chiickens.  I bake with mostly organic products and avoid the commercial food supply as much as possible.  These are most interesting times.


Jeff

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Pete,


First, let me assure you that any recipe that Rose Levy Bernbaum has written is fully researched and pretty much bullet proof. Her side notes are worth the price of the book. I've used the Cake Bible for years and it's never failed me.


The syrup must come to the soft ball stage (235 -240 F) in order for the butter to eventually emulisfy into the yolk/syrup mixture. If you add the syrup directly after it reaches the soft ball stage and follow the recipe it will be quite safe. The fact that the proportion of sugar is so high is another reason why this method is food safe. If for some reason the yolk mixture breaks befor you add the butter just be safe and discard it and start over. No biggy, some sugar, corn syrup and eggs are lost. Cheap compared to butter.


  There is no real substitute for a properly made French Butter Cream. The uncooked versions pale in comparison . It's not exactly 'health food' but it is good for the soul, so make some and enjoy it. 


Franko


  The info below copied from the USDA Food Safety site indicates the 'danger zone' for foods in general. Link below:


http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/How_Temperatures_Affect_Food/index.asp


The "Danger Zone" (40 °F-140 °F)
Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 ° and 140 °F, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. This range of temperatures is often called the "Danger Zone." That's why the Meat and Poultry Hotline advises consumers to never leave food out of refrigeration over 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90 °F, food should not be left out more than 1 hour.

If you are traveling with cold foods, bring a cooler with a cold source. If you are cooking, use a hot campfire or portable stove. It is difficult to keep foods hot without a heat source when traveling, so it’s best to cook foods before leaving home, cool them, and transport them cold.


 

Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

i work in food, so i know alot about this


1/10,000(not an exact numner) eggs houses the virus on the OUTSIDE of the egg, normally due to animal feces, or poor handing by the consumer(unwashed hands after using the restroom at home)


sounds odd right? trust me its not


take chocolate mousse for example, raw yolks, and raw whites...


its all in the handling of your eggs, wash you hands, wear gloves, or if you extra worried run all your eggs under water

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Sean-e.coli and salmonella are bacteria, not virus. You are right about them being on the outside of the shell. It's fairly easy to get from outside shell to inside shell. Who washes hands after handling every egg shell?


There is quite a bit of evidence that farm fresh eggs are less contaminated, despite feces in obvious amounts on the outside of the shell because there is a protective coating that comes off when the egg industry "power washes" the eggs at the factory. Then, any latent bacteria laying around on workers hands, equipment, etc. will actually be able to get in through the porous openings (yes, baby chicks do actually get air and moisture through the shell) and have a nice incubator to live in. Add that to any egg improperly stored on the way to the store or way to your house and you have a petri dish.


Some of these illnesses cause far more than a bout of diarrhea. My father had a toxic arthritis from a bout of food poisoning one 4th of July weekend and still has a painful knee as a result. He was sick enough to merit IV antibiotics at the Mayo.


Farm fresh eggs have a protective coating on the outside of the egg. Plus, the bugs are probably less virulent since hopefully the chickens aren't being fed broad spectrum antibiotics and stressed by maximum chickens per square inch.


However, this being said, recipe with heated stuff being properly handled does sound safe, especially the way it's being prepared. Just don't rely on the old ideas of "if it sat on the counter too long just heat it up and everything will be dead" because the toxins are HEAT TOLERANT.


Not to be crazy about all this, believe me I taste my food when I'm cooking with raw eggs too. But, just be very safe when using raw eggs and even more safe using raw chicken or hamburger. (I grind sale meat like London broil, hamburger is our most disgusting food industry product!)


For any questions about food bacterias and safety, the USDA has great information on the website. CDC website is great for information on food borne illness.


Doc Tracy

Edith Pilaf's picture
Edith Pilaf

No one will be able to tell you that raw eggs are completely safe.  But I've never had a problem from eating chocolate mousse, buttercream, Caesar salad, meringue pies, homemade ice cream,  fresh mayo, blender hollandaise, all made with raw eggs, not to mention the cookie dough (which I've never liked, but the rest of the family eats it, and no one has ever gotten sick from it). 


The fact that someone somewhere has gotten sick from eating a raw egg is, well, too bad for that person.....  but the odds, along with my personal experience, just aren't enough to change my "risky" behavior.  However, I try to minimize the risk by buying fresh local eggs and keeping them refrigerated (though for decades, we did not even refrigerate our eggs and, still, no one ever got sick from eating them).


If you are concerned about the safety of eating raw eggs, then just don't do it.  You will probably not enjoy it, and it's not worth the worry just for some buttercream.


 

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

... can't remember its name, that drink made with raw eggs and alcohol, Not advocaat, something else. Oh the trials of age :-)


No food is COMPLETELY safe. Water from the tap isn't completely safe. The air we breathe isn't completely safe. But eggs? Chicks don't get ill in the shell. They might have physical problems but they're not because of infections. We don't get ill from eating raw eggs.


I make marzipan from ground almonds (eek - who knows what they might contain?), sugar and raw eggs. sometimes I use just the yolk, sometimes just the white. As someone else said those vulnerable children lick out cake mixtures from basins (and so do I and I'm old and therefore vulnerable).


Oh for goodness' sake, let's get real and stop panicking (sp?) about such things. If we're healthy - or even if we're not - and we eat things we enjoy surely that's better than restricting our intake to what's 'good' for us? A little of what you fancy does you good.


Our forebears ate things we wouldn't be ALLOWED to eat yet they thrived.


I've just had a bit of an argument with Spouse about eating yellow snow. I'd be prepared to do it, he wouldn't but he can't give a sensible reason. I know that my life would be more important than the possibility of a problem - which in these days could be treated.


 

Caltrain's picture
Caltrain

Not everyone can deal with bacteria as well as you or I can. People on certain medication or with certain diseases and disorders might have a weakened immune system. You know, people wou might've died in infancy during our "forebearer" days but can now enjoy a full life thanks to modern hygene.


If you aren't sure who will being eating your cake (say, if the cake is for a company potluck), then it's probably best to play it on the safe side. The same logic applies to washing your hands after using the restroom; you may never get infected, but the next guy to touch the same door knob as you might.

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

"Not everyone can deal with bacteria as well as you or I can. People on certain medication or with certain diseases and disorders might have a weakened immune system. You know, people wou might've died in infancy during our "forebearer" days but can now enjoy a full life thanks to modern hygene."


Modern hygiene has largely been dependent on efficient sewerage rather than the sometimes over the top obsession with food regulations. 


As I said before, we take in bacteria with every breath, with every glass of 'pure' water, and our bodies are alive, inside and out, with living things we can't imagine.


As for washing our hands after using the 'rest room' Very few people DO wash their hands efficiently. rather they run a little water over fingers, dry them (sometimes on a common towel) and leave. That wouldn't be satisfactory in a surgical theatre ... 


I wash my hand thoroughly and rinse them and leave without drying my hands, who knows what has been left on the towel, hot air merely spreads infections widely and paper towels are left to 'fester' in a bin. 


What's more, urine is sterile, if it isn't you know about it and wouldn't be fit to use a public facility.

petebert's picture
petebert

thanks, I'm not too picky about my food. I dont cook my turkeys to 180, I make my own beef jerky which isnt really cooked. Just not too familiar with using raw eggs and it seemed kind of wierd.

Franko's picture
Franko

It was a good question Pete as eggs have lots of potential for nastiness. Just imagine though if you cracked a raw egg in to a bowl and poured 240 F water or syrup over it. You would have a cooked egg and it probably wouldn't be the first cooked egg you've ever eaten or the last. Butterceam has such a high percentage of sugar and fat in it , both of which inhibit bacterial growth, that as long as your eggs are fresh and you follow the procedure it's very unlikley that it will become contaminated.


Now about that turkey thing....

Edith Pilaf's picture
Edith Pilaf

162F per Julia Child, page 168, "The Way to Cook".  I've been doing it this way for years and  I'm not dead yet ; ). And her recipe for mayonnaise calls for raw eggs!  Imagine that.


 

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

How else can you make mayonnaise? The stuff made with anything else bears no comparison with the genuine stuff.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

For the past year or so I have been making all of my mayonnaise, and with unpasteurized, raw eggs. I started out doing my own "pasteurizing" and being ultra particular about keeping everything sterile(or very,very clean).


Although I'm certainly not advocating doing so, I have become pretty nonchalant about about the eggs(as long as they are"fresh"). I now usually leave the egg out at least overnight. This last time, I even left the egg sitting on the couter for almost two days before I finally got around to making the mayo. Of course, this time of year the kitchen is pretty cool, about 63 degF or so, so the bugs aren't growing quite so fast.


I usually make a batch of about 12 oz or so of the mayo, to last a week or two. I know two weeks is too long, especially considering said procedures, but I have never felt sick from it, yet.

petebert's picture
petebert

a lot of major chef's recipes list no higher then 165 for poultry. It makes it so much better I'm willing to take my chances.