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Mar 10, 2007 12:53 PM

beating egg whites -- cold or room temp?

I'm making my favorite almond torte which calls for 6 beaten egg whites. I can never remember -- will they beat up better at room temp or cold?
(I do them in the electric mixer w/ whisk attachment)

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  1. Room temperature works better for egg whites, in my experience.

    1. Cold eggs are easier to separate. Room temp egg whites reach maximum volume faster than
      cold eggs. Start beating on low-speed, then increase to medium, then to high. 3-day old eggs are better than brand-new eggs. Use a copper bowl or cream of tartar to stablize the foam.

      more info at

      2 Replies
      1. re: maria lorraine

        P.S. That almond torte sounds good. Can you post the recipe?

        1. re: maria lorraine

          It's brown butter almond torte on epicurious. I've made it several times and even non-dessert eaters love it-- it's not too sweet. First time I made as called for w/ sour cherry sauce (during the oh, 2 week sour cherry season). Then I've made in the winter served w/ poached dried fruit a la Deborah Madison (cherries, raisins, prunes/apricots) in simple syrup w/ lemon, orange zest and vanilla bean.

          Here' s the link to the recipe. Enjoy! and if you make it let us know how you liked it!

      2. The way I remember: Cream Cold, Whites Warm (by letter)

        1 Reply
        1. It depends in part on what you want to do with them -- warm whites beat up much more quickly, but to a slightly less stable foam -- not a big deal for a meringue or a frosting, potentially a problem for a cake or a souffle where you need be folding them. Cold whites will beat up more slowly, and with slightly less volume, but a more stable foam.

          For a torte, I'd beat them cold. But then, I'm a picky anal type about this kind of baking -- really, the difference is pretty small, and beating them warm is faster.

          1. Everything above is spot on-- remember there's also temperatures between fridge cold and room temp :) I always separate right out of the fridge, then assemble whatever else needs doing, and beat the whites whenever everything else is ready. There's not usually really warm by then, but have sat out a bit (in a kitchen with the oven preheating) and it always works out just fine. I'd say temperature is a rather small variable compared to other factors (age of the eggs, bowls and beaters completely clean and free of any oils)