So since this Friday we’re making a souffle, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to talk about the very delicate art of whipping egg whites. One of the most crucial steps of making a successful souffle is whipping your egg whites into stiff, firm peaks that are light and weightless and stand up on their own. Doing this does not have to be difficult at all if you follow some simple rules. Here are six tips that will get you those perfect peaks every time:
- Make sure your bowl and beaters are completely clean. The tiniest bit of oil residue will just about kill the process of forming air bubbles in the egg whites, which is the whole point of whipping them.
- Make sure your bowl is dry. Water will also prevent the formation of light, foamy egg whites.
- Use egg whites that are at room temperature. You’re trying to get the proteins in the egg whites to expand so that their volume increases and they do so better when their temperature is lower.
- Add salt to the egg whites at the beginning. Salt helps to firm up the proteins, resulting in those peaks you’re after.
- Add an acid part-way through the whipping process. This stabilizes the egg white form and it keeps the bubbles you’ve created from simply bursting when you stop whipping them. Cream of tartar is most commonly used for this, but a drop or two of any type of acid like lemon juice or vinegar will work just fine too.
- Do not over-beat your egg whites. How can you tell when they’re done? When you start to see them stiffen, check them with a rubber spatula. You want the whites to hold a stiff peak but not to dry up into a fluffy mess that’s impossible to incorporate into your dish.
So there you have it! Did I miss anything? Please, share with us in the comments! And join me in the kitchen on Friday as I whip up some egg whites and fold them into a cheesy, fluffy souffle!
Image from here.