Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

The Art of Beating Egg Whites

Originally uploaded by Herodoto

I made a homemade chocolate birthday cake for my hubby last week that called for beaten egg whites for volume, instead of baking soda or baking powder.

It was the day before Thanksgiving and I was feeling overwhelmed with tasks to do and I took a shortcut that did not have the intended consequences.  Although the cake was delicious, it did not rise as much as I wanted it to because I did not beat the egg whites properly.

I knew what I had done wrong the minute I saw the lifeless results in the bowl. My cardinal mistake was that I reused the dirty beaters from when I had mixed the chocolate cake minutes before.  I should have washed the beaters first because everything has to be very clean – free of any yolk or oils.

Truly professional cooks turn the whisking of egg whites into an art and have a whole routine – including the use of a copper bowl. Here is an excellent resource on how to whisk egg whites.

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