Tip Friday Beating Egg Whites
Beating Egg Whites
Beating egg whites properly is the key to creating certain extra-light cookies, such as meringues or ladyfingers. Three things to remember: the bowl and beaters must be clean and grease-free. Use a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl, not plastic. Egg whites will whip higher if they’re at room temperature before beating. When beating egg whites, at first you’ll have a puddle of clear liquid with some large bubbles in it. As you continue beating, the liquid will become opaque as it forms many more, smaller bubbles. If a point forms and then falls over immediately, the egg whites are at a soft peak. From here, 20 to 25 more strokes with a whisk will bring you to a medium peak, and another 15 to 20 strokes to stiff peaks. It’s extremely easy to go too far. When you start to see grainy white clumps, you’re beyond stiff peaks, and every stroke of the whisk or beater is tearing apart the network of air, water and protein you’ve worked so hard to create. You’ll also see a pool of clear liquid under the foam. The good news is that the foam still on top of the liquid will essentially still work. The bad news is that you can’t really fix what’s happened, other than to start over with new egg whites.
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