Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've been looking for a decent dairy-free coffee creamer alternative. I stumbled upon a blog post for 'paleo coffee creamer' that has just 3 ingredients: a can of coconut milk, 2-3 eggs, and some vanilla extract.

In the blog comments, many posters said that there's no way they would include raw eggs in their homemade coffee creamer. I probably would've said the same thing, but the author mentioned something along the lines of 'the heat from the coffee tempers the eggs, making the creamer safe to consume.'

Is this true?

share|improve this question
1  
I have to say, this doesn't sound like it will taste very good. Why not go for coconut cream and vanilla, if that is what you want, and skip the egg entirely. Even egg creams have no egg! –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 26 at 21:00
    
Apparently it just makes for a really creamy cup of coffee, and doesn't impact it's flavor. I haven't tried it though, so I have no idea if that's true or not. (As a side note, would the type of eggs matter, or just the temperature of the coffee-creamer mixture? –  mdegges Mar 26 at 21:05
    
Only the temperature.... –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 26 at 21:27
1  
If you're only making this for yourself, I imagine that storage could be an issue here. Just how much of this creamer are you going to use in a single cup of coffee, and how many cups do you drink every day? This sounds like it would easily make enough "creamer" for two dozen cups, and won't keep in the fridge for more than a couple of days. –  Aaronut Mar 26 at 22:21
    
I made the recipe using just one egg, to try it out. It tastes pretty good! I imagine I'll be using about 1/4 cup over the course of the day. The recipe made approx 1 1/2 cups, so that means it will be in the fridge for 6 days or so. Think it will stay good that long? –  mdegges Mar 26 at 22:38

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends on how hot the coffee-egg mixture is (and remember, adding it will cool the coffee), and how long it stays at that temperature.

Given that coffee does not benefit in flavor from being left around, you want a fast process, which means the mixture should be at 160 F (71 C) for several seconds at least... it can cool after that.

Since coffee optimally brews at about 195-205 F, this should be in the realm of possibility.

share|improve this answer
1  
I'd add that you're not actually dumping 2-3 eggs into a single cup of coffee, you'd be using a teaspoon or two of the entire mix, which is more than half coconut milk. As long as you don't let the coffee cool beforehand, that raw egg is going to set almost immediately. I've made recipes like Bavarian Cream that involve a much higher proportion of raw egg, and they are considered safe. –  Aaronut Mar 26 at 22:20

Many common recipes call for raw eggs, for example Caesar salad, aioli, and pasta carbonara. Some restaurants will label the menu items as such, with a disclaimer on the menu warning of possible hazards to the elderly, the very young, those with compromised immune systems and pregnant women. You may want to go the route some restaurants use: avoid the issue by using pasteurized eggs from the store, usually found in a carton.

share|improve this answer

What you're effectively making is egg-nog, but with coconut milk instead of cream or milk, so you should follow general recommendations for making egg-nog these days:

  • If you're in the EU (where chickens would have been innoculated against salmonella, and sold with the cuticle on), you may want to wash your eggs in hot, soapy water before using.

  • If you're in the US, eggs are already washed, but the chickens haven't been innoculated ... so you may prefer purchasing pasteurized eggs.

  • Use fresh eggs (haven't been sitting around as long with the bacteria multiplying), that have been properly handled (in the US, this means refrigerated)

  • Examine the shell for cracks; avoid any that don't look fully intact.

  • Avoid contact between the inside of the egg and the outside of the shell -- so if you end up with a bit of shell in there, use it for something else, not some raw or barely cooked item.

I would also suspect that there would be a lower chance of salmonella or other problems in free-range eggs vs. factory raised, but I don't know if there's been any validation of that.

share|improve this answer
    
There is a key difference between this application and egg nog: it is going to be put in hot coffee. –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 27 at 13:08
    
@SAJ14SAJ : yes, but a tablespoon or so at a time ... the rest of it is going to sit in the fridge for potentially a week or more, depending on how many people are using it and how much coffee they're drinking. –  Joe Mar 27 at 13:09
    
That would be foolish in any case, even if all of the precautions you have enumerated are followed. 2 days or so should be the limit on a raw egg product like that. –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 27 at 13:11
    
@SAJ14SAJ : I suspect I'm more tolerant of raw eggs, I grew up drinking them, and I know where mine are coming from, and I'm in one of the categories for concern. ... but personally, I'd never do this as I can't stand coffee. –  Joe Mar 27 at 13:18

The incidence of bad things in raw eggs is very very low, so I wouldn't worry about consuming them. On the other hand, the line about them being "tempered" and therefore made safe by the coffee is completely incorrect. Unless it's nuclear hot McDonalds coffee, you're not going to be doing anything but moving the bacteria closer to their happy place.

I don't see anything wrong with adding raw eggs, but this would severely impair the shelf life of the resultant creamer (2-4 days is the limit for raw eggs out of the shell)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.