Whipping and Folding the Egg Whites

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
The best consistency for egg whites in a soufflé preparation is stiff yet moist, glossy peaks. A stiff but dry foam is harder to mix evenly with the base, while a softer foam is still coarse—so the soufflé texture will be the same—and may leave the mix so runny that it will overflow before it sets.

The trick is to mix the two materials as evenly as possible while losing as little air as possible. Typically, between a quarter and half of the foam volume is lost at this stage. The traditional method of mixing base and foam is to vigorously stir a quarter of the foam into the base to lighten it, then use a spatula to “fold” the two together by repeatedly scooping some base, cutting vertically through the foam, and depositing the base along the cut surface.