Ina Garten Adds Egg Yolks For A Rich Twist On Chocolate Buttercream

Ina Garten's recipe for Beatty's Chocolate Cake is one to break out when you want to impress your guests. This rich, chocolate cake is made with freshly brewed coffee which transforms what would be a traditional chocolate cake into a decadent dessert. While that addition really does add to the flavor of this cake, its the frosting Garten piles onto it that will have your taste buds churning. The "store bought is fine" chef adds egg yolks to her chocolate buttercream frosting to make it light, silky smooth, and utterly creamy. 

Of course, that's not the only reason Garten adds this ingredient to her buttercream. The addition of egg yolks serves a practical purpose in that it helps the frosting keep its shape and remain fluffy. In fact, if you use egg yolks in your frosting, you will find the result echoes the taste and texture of the frostings bakeries use. But if you are wondering whether or not adding raw egg yolks to your buttercream is safe, you aren't alone.

Use pasteurized eggs

The USDA advises against eating foods that contain raw egg yolks because of that bacteria known as salmonella. However, before you give up on your dream of creating an unctuous buttercream frosting that mimics that of Ina Garten's, Washington City Paper did a little sleuthing. The paper turned to the American Egg Board to find out if there is any risk in adding raw yolks to foods. The organization states, encountering an egg that has been contaminated with salmonella is very low and, "...if you're an average consumer, you might encounter a contaminated egg once every 84 years."

Additionally, many people argue that the copious amounts of sugar will keep any bacteria at bay, but even if your icing is 80% to 85% sugar, that doesn't guarantee your frosting is risk-free. Christine Bruhn, director of the Center for Consumer Research at UC Davis explained to the outlet, "It could possibly [have] a high level of sugar that the bacteria would not grow, but it depends on how the person makes moist the cake is, how long it has been sitting around, how hot the room, those various factors." That said, if you want to try out Garten's delicious hack to your frosting, you can always use pasteurized eggs to mitigate this potential hazard.