Whisked egg whites are used in a variety of dishes from meringues to soufflés. They are whisked to incorporate air which adds a light texture to sauces or causes that all-important rise in baking.
Before starting, ensure that all your equipment is clean, dry and grease free as a spot of grease will prevent the whites from whisking into a foam.
You can whisk egg whites by hand but expect to get a very tired arm! Using an electric whisk or stand mixer is much quicker and easier.
Egg whites are whisked to different stages – soft, medium or stiff peaks – depending on what they are being used for.
A soft peak will only hold its shape for a second before melting back into the mixture.
A medium peak will hold its shape for longer but will gradually lose definition and the tip of the peak will flop over.
A stiff peak will be firm and stand straight up without bending at the tip.
Don’t whisk too much or the whites will split and you will need to begin again with fresh egg whites.