In this post I focus on coagulation. This is the role some proteins play when we cook with them. I will cover
Which foods coagulate?
During cooking many proteins change due to coagulation and this is why it is such an important term to understand. Meat, gluten in wheat, eggs and Fish all coagulate when heat is applied and we can see the changes. Coagulation happens between 71⁰ - 85⁰C.
What might I cook to demonstrate coagulation?
Coagulation makes textures change and set. The pictures below show a runny egg filling in a quiche that is set during cooking. Eggs set liquids very effectively as can be seen in quiche fillings, or desserts such as crème caramel, or crème patisserie custard.
The picture below shows scrambled egg at various stages of coagulation, creamy, soft, lightly scrambled to firmer drier scrambled egg.
The value of coagulated egg can be seen when products are egg and breadcrumbed. As the heat during cooking coagulates the surface become crunchy, firm and holds the product together. examples such as Scotch egg or battered or egg and breadcrumbed fish goujons.
During baking eggs become coagulated and help to hold cake together. This commonly occurs when preparing creaming method cakes, or whisked sponges
Why is coagulation useful?
Other coagulated proteins are products like Tofu which is coagulated soya bean curd.
Cheese is coagulated milk.
I hope you now know which ingredients are changed by coagulation and what to expect when proteins coagulate.