Urgent re beaten egg whites!

rosie, Nov 25, 3:46am
Am in the middle of making a cake that has beaten egg whites but they are refusing to beat so I suspect perhaps they are too fresh!Can I still use them or what else could be a substitute! Any help very much appreciated :)


elliehen, Nov 25, 3:51am
Can you start again with new eggs!Usual problems are oil in the bowl, or if overbeaten they will liquefy again.Freshness isn't usually a problem.

jia5, Nov 25, 3:57am
Are you sure you didn't get a bit of yolk in with the whites! Also I always wash bowl with hot water and vinegar, dry well then beat egg whites. Any Grease residue in bowl will affect theegg whites and they will not stiffenproperly.

kinna54, Nov 25, 4:00am
Agree with elliehen on all counts! , Probably best to start again, if you have more eggs.
Do you have a glass or stainless steel bowl. My mum would never beat egg whites in anything else. Are you using an electric beater! Egg whites do not beat as well in a kitchen whizz.
You could also maybe try standing the bowl over really cold water, and add a tiny pinch of salt(it won't affect the flavour of the cake)

rosie, Nov 25, 4:05am
Thanks so much for you help everyone :)Have done two lots of egg white beatings using 8 eggs altogether so hesitant to try again, bowl was dry, used an electric beater - wish I had asked in between beatings as I could have tried the vinegar, pinch of salt etc suggested :)Have decided to use half a pottle of creme fraiche so fingers crossed the choc peanut butter cake is good enough to eat for the social night out!
Thanks again

kinna54, Nov 25, 4:13am
Oh Rosie you poor thing, hate to see ingredients wasted. (good thinking with the creme fraiche)
Only think I can think of is the bowl, or the egg temperature.
Tupperware and plastic bowls do absorb butter and oils into them, no matter how well they are cleaned, and this does affect. I watched it once on a Gordon Ramsay cooking show, where exactly that happened.
I'm sure your cake will be sensational!
(and it happens to us all, I just had DIL here with the granddies, and offered some cake with a cuppa. Granddie said yes please nan I'll have some of that disaster you made yesterday!. (*Overheard Granddad I think) Poor DIL was mortified!

bjkiwi, Nov 25, 4:56am
Rosie I agree with the egg freshness issue. I have a stash of eggs in the pantry that are always at least a week or 10 days old. If I try and whip egg whitesany fresher from the chooks they just don't work!

eastie3, Nov 25, 5:11am
Before making a pav I rub a cut lemon around the inside of the mixer bowl(thanks Mum).

deus701, Nov 25, 5:14am
its a cake isnt it! well, a meringue is usually for the cake's lightness.maybe you can try beating the egg yolks with sugar to a foam/ribbony.that would give some lightness

kuaka, Nov 25, 8:37am
And I doubt if a teeny weeny bit of yolk in the whites would make any difference - I made meringues the other day and managed to beat them to a stiff peak despite having a little yolk in the whites.They were all the eggs I had at the time, so couldn't use them for something else and try again, I had to use them, and they were fine.

rosie, Nov 25, 3:57pm
wow thanks for the awesome replies! Just thought I would let you all know that the cake was wonderful, such a relief since it was for a social supper along with a carrot cake!
Strangely enough I buy free range eggs and they were beaten in a glass bowl and I could see and could see the foam on top but clearly could also see the liquid at the bottom that just would not beat up.They were only about 3 days old.I thought once I had sacrificed 8 eggs that it was time to come talk to the experts on here :)Thanks everyone!

nzl99, Nov 25, 8:34pm
We only use free range eggs at work (cafe) and have no end of issues with consistancy of eggs.So it isn't just you.Save the whites and add them to fritters or quiches etc in the next few days. :-)

elliehen, Nov 25, 10:06pm
rosie, very happy for you that it all worked.One last tip.experts also say that room temperature eggs are best when you want to whip egg whites.

kuaka, Nov 25, 10:18pm
Just thinking about this problem, I wonder if o/p actually beat the egg whites for long enough.Beating 4 egg whites till stiff (stiffish) using an electric beater, I would expect to take a good few minutes.I regularly make Annabelle Langbeins ice cream base and it often takes as long as 7 minutes or more to beat 3 egg whites till very stiff - mind you my old electric whisk is probably like me and not as fast as it used to be.

Maybe rosie just needed to persevere for a bit longer.

rosie, Nov 26, 2:39am
I did persevere for ages kuaka:)elliehen - it was so hot in my kitchen yesterday that it occured to me that the eggs may be too hot so with the 2nd lot I put them in the fridge for 5 mins - made no difference, I think they were just rebellious eggs that had no intention of being made to go into a cake! Perhaps they were teenagers :)
Love all the input - thanks everyone, you have all been so helpful - this recipe thread rocks!

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