Whipping egg whites
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Whipping egg whites
Whipping egg whites is a simple task, but light and fluffy results require the proper equipment and procedure. First, the separation of the eggs is essential: even a drop of yolk will drastically reduce the desired eight-fold volume. A stainless steel (or unlined copper) bowl is necessary - glass, plastic, and aluminum will all cause problems, either in volume or color. You will achieve the best results by hand with a large balloon whisk. A electric mixer with a whisk attachment will do a good job, but there is a greater chance of over whipping and making the whites grainy and unstable.
Begin by adding a pinch of salt to the whites which will help break them up. Then start whipping slowly, in a small circular motion. As the whites begins to froth, use more of the bowl by whipping in larger circles.
 
When the whites begin to fluff you can make the foam more stable by adding a pinch of cream of tartar. The whites will then begin to stiffen, and are done if they hold a peak when you pull the whisk from the bowl.
 
Sugar is usually added for flavor and to enhance stability in dessert recipes. However, it also increases whipping time and reduces lightness and volume. To achieve the best results, add sugar slowly and only after the whites begin to develop peaks.
 
Source:   Culinary Cafe
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