Whipped egg whites act as the leavening for angel food and other sponge cakes.
For successful whipping, the bowl and the beaters must be perfectly clean, because even a trace of fat prevents good loft. It is also important to start with room temperature egg whites.
Sugar or cream of tartart is often added during whipping to help stabilize the egg whites.
To test if the egg whites are whipped to the desired finish, lift the beaters and if you want to have soft peaks form, it should droop over gently and look wet. But if you want to have medium-firm peaks, it should stand upright but still appear moist and satiny.
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