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How to Fold Whipped Egg Whites for Maximum Lift

Fine Cooking Issue 52
Photos: Scott Phillips
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Soufflés owe their delicate, puffy texture to the air trapped in whipped egg whites. As the air heats in the oven, it expands, causing the soufflé to rise. The key to achieving the best rise lies in proper folding, a technique for mixing the egg whites with the rest of the soufflé ingredients with a minimum loss of air. Folding starts with stirring about one-third of the whipped whites into the base ingredients. This step sacrifices some of the air, but it lightens the base, making it easier to fold in the rest of the whites. If you’re working with a large amount of whites, you may need to fold in the remaining whites in two or more batches. 

1. Gently whisk or stir in a small portion—about onethird—of the whipped egg whites into the base ingredients to lighten the mixture. Gently drop the remaining whites on top.
2. Position a rubber spatula near the edge of the bowl farthest from you and then cut the spatula straight down through the whites and the soufflé base to the bottom of the bowl.
3. Pull the spatula toward you along the bottom of the bowl and then up the side to drag some of the soufflé base to the top. Gently flip the base onto the whites as you give the bowl a small turn with your other hand.
4. Continue the circular motion of cutting down, dragging up, flipping, and turning until you no longer see streaks of egg white.


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