1,000 shades of white
L'école des fanes
Sugar, flour, milk, egg whites, a pinch of salt... white is intimately linked to desserts. But in the kingdom of white ingredients, whipped egg whites are king. Guided tour of their secrets.
No yolk in the whites. They must be separated completely. Even a small amount of yolk will make the task difficult if not impossible. Make sure you separate them well, even if it means leaving some white attached to the yolk.
If you whip them by hand. Whip from low to high, gently at first and then more quickly. Take care not to hit the sides of the bowl. Finish by whipping in brisk circles.
With an electric whipper: Put the whites in the bowl and add a pinch of salt. Start whipping slowly and then increase the speed. To whip 4 eggs, it usually takes 1 minute 45 seconds at medium speed and then 30 seconds at top speed.
Don't over-whip: If over-whipped, the whites can become ‘grainy’. They will no longer be creamy but will collapse after whipping.
Don't whip in advance. You should whip egg whites just before using them in a recipe.
Don't use extremely fresh eggs. Very fresh eggs have dense and compact whites which are more difficult to thicken. If they are straight from the farm, start by whipping them very slowly so as to ‘break’ them before fluffing them up.
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