Urgent !! I can't get my egg whites to stiffen !! I've used cream of tartar. After 10 mins nothing. Is there anything I can do ?

Can I use what I have for anything ?

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12 Comments

Roxxanne O. February 21, 2019
Im making maringue for the tirst time im i reading this right that no fats can be in this recipe? So
no cream cheese??
 
cranberry February 23, 2019
No, no fats just when you are actually whipping the egg whites. The liquid-y egg whites can have absolutely no fat in them, from yolk bits or a bowl or beaters that are not pristinely clean or else they will not whip up. You can fold the whipped egg whites with the fats after (such as into whipped cream or waffle batter or whatever).
 
cranberry February 23, 2019
And note if you are next headed to whipping cream, the cream, bowl and beaters need to all be very cold. I put my bowl and beaters into the freezer for a bit beforehand, and don't take the cream out of the fridge til you are ready to whip.
 
Esther P. April 23, 2012
I was always told that a drop of vinegar in the bowl first will counteract any remaining bits of grease.
 
boulangere April 23, 2012
The presence of any kind of fat (that in yolks, for example), causes protein chains to literally slip apart. Protein chains are long and sinuous, and for a meringue, you obviously want them to stay long. Cream of tartar (aka tartaric acid) or cupric acid (which is formed naturally when using a copper bowl) help with the relaxing and strengthening parts of whipping EWs. It is important also that you never use a plastic bowl for whipping them. Plastic bonds well with fats and oils, and it is difficult to ever get one clean enough to use here.
 
coralwisp April 23, 2012
Thanks for the replies. I did have a small bit of yolk in the whites that probably was the cause!! Now any ideas for the great flavored mixture?
 
drbabs April 23, 2012
I'm not sure if it will work--I agree with what creamtea and bigpan said-- but you might try a big pinch of kosher (or a smaller pinch of regular if you don't have kosher) salt. I find that salt helps egg whites stiffen up quickly.
 
Sandy March 31, 2018
I was having trouble getting my whites to stiffen & a pinch of kosher salt worked! Thanks!
 
bigpan April 22, 2012
You also might have some soap residue in the bowl. The bowl must be very clean. I use a copper bowl exclusively for whipping egg which means you don't need cream of tartar.
 

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creamtea April 22, 2012
Sometimes it is due to the presence of even a small amount of fat; are you sure that no portion of the yolk got in, and that the bowl was very clean? Also, it is easier to beat whites that are a few days old than fresh. Other than that, I'm not sure; maybe others will weigh in?
 
Lynn D. April 25, 2019
I did have a little egg yolk in the whites. I tried adding a pinch of salt and that didn’t help.
I’ve been mixing for about 15 minutes and not even close to any peaks.
Should I toss it or is there something else I can use it for?
I have egg whites, sugar, salt and cream of tartar.
 
Jojoa June 12, 2019
If your 100 percent sure it’s really thick, repurpose it with some flour and baking powder, because I assume your eggs aren’t stiff. Then you can chuck it into the oven, and this makes a sweet cake like thing that tastes good.
 
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