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Old 05-29-2006, 04:27 PM   #11
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Any kind of fat residue on the equipment used to whip egg whites will impair or prevent the creation of the meringue.

Any material except plastic can be used. Plastic molecules are so similar to fat molecules that they can inrterfere with meringue creation as well.

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:16 AM   #12
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if you can't afford an unlined copper bowl just for stiffly beaten egg whites (and how many of us can?) try adding a pinch or two of cream of tartar to your egg whites at the point when they start to froth, then continue whipping until they are the stiffness desired (the stiffness is defined by how well the egg whites hold a peak)

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Old 06-04-2006, 07:43 AM   #13
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Yes, subfuscpersona - cream of tarter, or even some vinegar, will help to stabalize beaten eggg whites. However, neither will do what a copper bowl will. Since I hate to recreate the wheel ... try reading what Shirley Corriher has to say about the experiments she conducted at Natalie Dupree's cooking school, and her discussion with Dr. Ing. C. Peng at Perdue University, in her book Cookwise, pages 234-235.

Shaheen's original question wasn't asking about how to stabalize egg whites - the question was "why use copper".
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 06-08-2006, 06:07 AM   #14
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Am paraphrasing this explanation from another site:

Copper bowls produce a yellowish, creamy foam that is harder to overbeat than the foam produced using glass or stainless steel bowls.

When whisking egg whites in a copper bowl, copper ions from the bowl combine with some of the egg white proteins making them more stable. The act of whisking egg whites makes the un-ionized proteins coagulate, stiffening the foam and sealing in the air bubbles.

If the foam is overbeaten in a non-copper bowl, eventually all the egg white proteins coagulate into clumps.

If a copper bowl is used, only the un-ionized proteins are free to coagulate, making the eggwhites harder to overbeat.

'Never eat more than you can lift.' - Miss Piggy
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