Before attempting to whip egg whites, the egg yolks must first be completely separated from the egg whites as the yolk contains fat which prevents the whites from foaming and whipping. If even a tiny speck of egg yolk is left behind the whites may not foam and whip properly. The bowl and beaters you are using to beat the egg whites must be clean and free of any grease or dirt; wash the beaters and bowl in hot water just before using to ensure everything is squeaky clean.
Meringue is sensitive to the outside weather and you will have more success in making meringue on a cool dry day. Meringue absorbs moisture from the air, therefore in damp or humid weather meringues often need to bake longer than the specified time. Humidity may also cause meringues to collapse and become sticky. Adding 1 to 2 tablespoons, or even up to 1 cup of confectioners’ (powdered) sugar will help meringue hold-up in humid weather.
Old egg whites whip better than fresh ones. Allow farm-fresh eggs to sit 3 to 4 days so the whites will start to thin; egg whites begin to thin and become clearer, making them easier to whip if they are a few days old. Most eggs purchased in a grocery store can be used immediately as they are likely to be at least a week old.
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Before attempting to whip egg whites, the egg yolks must first be completely separated from...