How to whisk egg whites

A picture of Delia's How to whisk egg whites how to cook guide

First of all you need a large bowl, because we are going to be incorporating air, and the larger the bowl is, the more airy the egg whites become.

The bowl also has to be spanking clean and grease free.

Best of all, is to use an electric hand whisk, and just like the bowl the beaters have to be completely grease free.

Sometimes it's a good idea to have an extra pair of beaters when you've got a lot of cooking to do.

Also you can beat up egg whites with this, which is called a balloon whisk.

Either way it's a good idea to have a cloth underneath the bowl to stop it slipping about and keep it steady.

The best way is to start with the beaters on slow speed, and as they go backwards and forwards and rotate right up to the edges of the bowl, don't be afraid to be vigorous.

You can now begin to see little bubbles of air forming, and if you can imagine blowing up balloons, the same thing's happening here.

As you begin to beat more air goes into the bubbles and as you can see, now they're beginning to expand.

When you see the bubbles begin to form, you switch to a medium speed. Carry on, and then finish off with a fast speed.

What you need in the first place is the egg whites to form soft peaks that just droop over.

Sometimes a recipe will ask for stiff peaks, so you give it a little bit more whisking, and as you can see the peaks become stiff, and stand up straight like this.

Under beating means no peaks, however over beating, like over blowing a balloon causes the little bubbles to burst and you lose the air, in which case the mixture begins to look not smooth and glossy as before, but dry and grainy like this. So, don't be afraid of egg whites and remember that practice always makes perfect.

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