what to do when your egg whites aren't beating?

I started beating the egg whites to form not soft peak yet, but it was close to it, it was bubbly and then I added a bit of sugar so now it isn't forming a stiff peak. I used a hand mixer, 6 egg whites and 1/3 cup of caster sugar in a plastic bowl (the recipe calls for 13 egg whites, but I halved it) I'm trying to make the Japanese Fluffy Cheesecake from Tasty. I know now that it was too early to add the sugar and should add it after stiff peak, but is there any way to fix it now?

  • Posted by: fay
  • January 8, 2019


Victoria January 11, 2019
When I separate eggs, I do each over a small bowl or custard cup then if a yolk breaks, I don't spoil them all.

As mentioned always use a glass of metal bowl, too.
Happygoin January 10, 2019
The problem may be either the plastic bowl or some particles of egg yolk got into the mix.

Egg whites need a perfectly clean metal (preferably copper but any metal will work) bowl. Plastic bowls are porous and fat can settle in the small cracks and crevices, even if cleaned thoroughly.

Even the tiniest speck of egg yolk can prevent the whites from whipping too, so be careful when you separate your eggs.

Next time, make sure you use a metal bowl, and to be even more sure, clean it with a white vinegar solution. Dry it completely. Make sure no yolk particles got in, and you should have perfectly whipped egg whites.
allthebutterforit January 8, 2019
I'd just keep whipping it! Cooks Illustrated did a comparison about when the best time to add sugar to a meringue is, and it's basically when you added it. If it's really refusing to whip, it might be your bowl or mixers were dirty, or some egg yolk snuck in. https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/9992-whipping-whites-and-sugar-timing-matters
fay January 8, 2019
It was a bit of egg yolk slipped in! Thank you so much for the link!
fay January 8, 2019
However, I whipped it for about 20 minutes and it didn't work, but that's ok
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