Points to remember
- Place egg whites in a clean, dry, grease-free bowl and use equally clean beaters.
- Beat on a slow speed to build up a foam, and then increase the speed.
- Soft peaks are when the whites are voluminous but they barely hold their shape when the beaters are lifted (for lightening batters).
- Medium peaks just begin to hold their shape, but droop when the beater are lifted (for souffles).
- Stiff peak egg whites completely hold their shape. Whisk in sugar at this stage to make meringues.
Don't beat egg whites too quickly - you can break the protein chains, and they will never whisk up to full volume.
Don't overwhisk whites - they will start to go lumpy and be difficult to use.