Egg whites are an incredibly versatile cooking ingredient. You can either buy eggs and separate the whites from the yolks or you can buy them pre-separated in cartons. When you whisk egg whites air gets trapped and the mixture becomes opaque and expands in size. If you then add in sugar you can make pavlovas of meringues! In recent years egg white omelettes and have become a popular breakfast choice.
Whisking egg whites
Perfectly whipped egg whites are the secret to soufflé and wonderfully airy chocolate mousse. When a recipe calls for soft, firm or stiff peaks it’s important to know the difference.
- Soft – When you remove your whisk from the whites it should create a small peak that after a few seconds flops to the side. (If you are adding sugar to your recipe this is the point that you want to start gradually adding it)
- Firm – When you remove your whisk from the whites it should create a small peak that flops over slightly but it retains its shape somewhat.
- Stiff – The whites should stand right up when the whisk has been removed and retain the shape easily.
If you overbet you eggwhites they look chunk and clump together. You may be able to save them by adding in another unbeaten egg white and gently wishing them by hand. This doesn’t guarantee perfect results but it may help you out in a pinch.
Tip: always use room temperature egg whites.
Egg white in cocktails
Hundreds of drinks contain egg whites! Once shaken they thicken, changing the consistency of the drink and gives it a silky foam top. Classic cocktails that contain egg whites are Sours. Sours are made up of; egg whites, sugar syrup, lemon juice and the alcohol of your choice. Classic choices include whisky or amaretto!
Egg whites nutrition
Egg whites are very high in protein and they contain no fats and less than 1% carbohydrates. They also have a very low-calorie content, per 100 grams of egg whites, there’re about 52 calories.
A single egg white also contains some amounts of folate, selenium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and a good amount of potassium.