INGREDIENTS
by Rick Stein

Strawberries and cream is a classic combination. Rick Stein keeps his meringues whole to serve with rich clotted cream and fresh strawberries.

Desserts

Preparation

When egg whites are whisked, air is trapped in them, and remains trapped when the whisked egg whites are folded into meringues, mousses or soufflés and baked. Egg whites will whisk to a greater volume when they're at room temperature than when chilled, so always remove them from the fridge to bring them up to room temperature before you start cooking. When heated, the proteins in egg whites will combine and coagulate, which is essential for making cakes, pancakes and batter puddings. Egg whites also act as a stabiliser: the protein in egg whites will minimise the chance of ice crystals forming in a sorbet as it freezes.

Other considerations

Vegans should be aware that egg whites are sometimes used as a fining agent in winemaking.