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This recent question about a person who wanted to bake a cake but only had a cooked egg left suggested me an even stupider one: is it possible to bake a cake with a cooked egg instead of a raw one? After all, the egg is going to end up cooked inside the cake anyway.

I imagine that it's going to be tricky to mix it with the dough, but with a hand mixer and a sufficient amount of violence everything is possible.

Or are the chemical processes of boiling an egg and cooking it inside the dough fundamentally different?

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    "with a hand mixer and a sufficient amount of violence everything is possible" - I think I've just found my new motto. – flith Nov 2 '16 at 8:49
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    I am in no way an expert on this site so I have decided to comment but if you apply enough violence on the cooked egg alone and mix it with just a little water then would that get you at least 75% of the desired result? – MonkeyZeus Nov 2 '16 at 13:20
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    I used a cake mix once that required no egg (and the mix contained no powdered egg either). I suppose you could mince a boiled egg and combine with the batter, but my personal opinion on this is yuck. – Joshua Nov 2 '16 at 15:17
  • @MonkeyZeus what do you mean "75% of the desired result"? – rumtscho Nov 2 '16 at 16:27
  • @rumtscho I will preface this again with "I am not an expert". My understanding is that an egg acts as a binder for ingredients so would the process I described bring back 75% of the eggy-ness properties for use in the recipe? – MonkeyZeus Nov 2 '16 at 17:19
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I would say no. The function of the egg in the cake is to go in raw, mix with the other stuff, and once the raw egg has penetrated and coated the other ingredients thoroughly, bind it all together with that bouncy, sticky solidified eggy property which comes into existence as the egg cooks.

Cooking the egg first all by itself, then adding to a cake would be like drying some crazy glue, then grinding up that hardened crust and putting the resulting powder between two things you want to stick together. The gluing action is all over when the glue has dried.

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    The crazy glue analogy is golden! – MaxW Nov 5 '16 at 17:01
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It is possible, but only if you do not want it to act as glue.

are the chemical processes of boiling an egg and cooking it inside the dough fundamentally different?

As mentioned in earlier answers - no, but the point is that you need these processes during baking.

One notable exception is shortcrust pastry

You can use boiled egg to bake it. It is meant to be crusty, fragile. That's why you mix flour with fat first - to prevent gluing. When you use a boiled egg yolk instead of raw one, you have one less factor for gluing. It's easy to make pastry too delicate that way, but it is doable. I did it with success.

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    It's a lot easier to separate the yolk from a boiled egg too :) – Stop Harming Monica Nov 2 '16 at 11:11
  • @OrangeDog But I find it easier to separate an egg from its shell when it's raw. – Arthur Nov 2 '16 at 15:06
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    @Arthur then use raw, works both ways! – Mołot Nov 2 '16 at 15:11
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    +1 - Ovis Mollis are shortcrust cookies made with boiled eggs – Agos Nov 15 '16 at 15:22
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While I tend to somewhat agree with the previous answer, raw eggs have more properties than just taste or binding. They have a binding effect, a rising effect, thickening effect, etc. Additionally they are part of the liquid ingredients in a cake.

You can't replicate the effects with only a cooked egg in place of a raw egg. Now, that doesn't mean that you can't replicate the effects. It only means that you can't do it with just a cooked egg.

I'm sure that with the addition of the right liquids and the additional ingredients required to create the desired result, a cooked egg could be used.

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    "used" in what sense? Sure, there are egg replacements, which work more or less well. But you are still better off using these and nothing else, than using them and adding ground cooked egg. – rumtscho Nov 2 '16 at 10:48
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If shortcakes count as a cake, then I'd say yes. I've made James Beard's shortcake recipe several times, and it calls for two hard-boiled eggs (none raw), and the results are deliciously flaky. As mentioned above, this might better fit into the pastry category, though.

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No you can’t: chemical reactions do happen to the egg (not necessarily with the other ingredients) as the proteins in the egg are changed during the cooking process.

As a metaphor you can’t make a wall with pre-set cement as it can’t bind with the sand and bricks. When baking a cake, the egg acts like cement in concrete.

  • The chemistry is definitely important. Once cooked, the properties of the proteins change. (And this is very different from what happens with powdered eggs, so references to those in other answers/comments are not relevant.) – user2338816 Nov 4 '16 at 17:09
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In Italy we go as far as cooking salty cakes with boiled eggs, they are decorative but can be peeled and eaten. We indeed put them in the oven with all the shell.

The recipe is from Naples, and is called Casatiello Napoletano Salato (Casatiello stays for little house, don't ask me why, the other two words mean neapolitan and salty).

Cfr.: http://www.lucianopignataro.it/a/ricetta-casatiello-napoli/70835

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The cooked egg will work as a filler/texturing/flavoring ingredient, it will not have the baking (leavening, binding..) properties of the raw egg, so a recipe that is really dependent on these properties (some are, some are not really and will come out with a different but acceptable texture) will fail.

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