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Whipping egg whites successfully

How often have you beaten egg whites for a recipe?  Many recipes depend on a airy whites for their rise and stability. In other words,  beaten egg whites can make or break an otherwise great recipe. 
Egg whites trap bubbles in a web of  protein (10%) and water.  The action of beating creates bubbles and, at the same time, coaxes the coiled egg white proteins to uncurl and regroup into flexible mesh-like sheets that wrap around the bubbles.  With continued whipping, the bubbles get smaller, and the froth thickens into a stable mass. 
 
Whipped egg whites can expand up to eight times their original volume.  But a drop of yoks or a little grease lingering in a mixing bowl can reduce the egg whites' foaming power by two-thirds. Egg whites whip to their greatest volume at a bout 70 degrees.  When whites are warm, they don't cling together as much, makin it easier to incorporate air. 
 
When it comes to choosing eggs for whipping, professional opions differ.   As eggs age, the whites become thinner and whip easily to great volume.  It is best to add a little cream of tartar at the begining to stablize the foam. 
 
HOW LONG TO BEAT?  Recipes for souffles and sponge cakes often say to whip the egg whites until soft peaks curl as you lift the beater.  At this stage, the whites remain flexible, so they blend easily with other ingredients.  But, more importantly, the air bubbles are still elastic enough to expand in the oven.   Continued tomorrow ...........



Tags: egg whites 


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