Whipping egg whites to make lighter muffins/cake?
I'm thinking of ways to experiment with my baked goods, and one thing I'm looking for is a light and airy muffin/cupcake. Do you think folding in whipped egg whites would work? Should I go ahead and try it?
Whipping egg whites and folding them into cake batter is really a very common practice. It is typically the last step before loading the cake pans. I'm not aware of any muffin recipe that uses that technique but there's no harm in trying it. Courage is an important character trait for any good cook.
Do you use a muffin recipe that creams room-temp butter and sugar together? This type of recipe will produce a lighter, more delicate cake-like muffin whereas a recipe that uses melted butter and/or oil produces a heavier, more densely textured muffin.
I've seen waffle recipes where whipped egg whites are folded into the batter in order to make a lighter waffle. I've never tried it with pancakes but it's worth a try, but here's a recipe that uses that technique
The main thing with pancakes is to not beat them, but rather stir the batter gentlyly so as to minimally develop the gluten (a little lumpy is okay), and then to let the batter rest for at least a half an hour after mixing.
The weak links in that recipe, IMO, are the vegetable oil and the AP flour. I think that most AP flour has too high a protein content to work well in anything but a fairly heavy and dense cake. However, if you follow the recipe, I believe beaten egg whites would work just fine as long as you incorporate the folded egg whites to the correct degree and don't over beat the batter