Do you really have to 'fold' egg foams? Can't you just mix them?

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5 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (or a squeeze of lemon juice)
3/4 cup (175g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (60g) flour (cake flour, ideally)
vanilla (or some other extract)

Bake this in a narrow pan — one big loaf pan, or two smaller ones would be good. Line the pan entirely with parchment paper before you start on the batter. Get the oven heating to 350ºF/180ºC.

Put the cream of tartar in the egg whites and beat to stiff peaks. Gradually beat in the sugar until the foam is stiff again. Beat in a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla. Beat in the flour until the mixture is just homogenous — no longer.

Scrape into the pan and bake until a skewer to the center comes out clean — about an hour, but it’ll depend on the dimensions of your pan. Let cool thoroughly before taking it out of the pan and peeling off the parchment paper.

A serrated knife is good for slicing. I like eating it plain, but you could top it with whipped cream, berries, and/or the crème diplomate recipe below.


4 egg yolks
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
3 cups (700mL) milk
2 oz (60g) butter
1 pint (500mL) cream

[FYI, some people use gelatin to further thicken this — I think it’s great without it]

This will make a pretty big bowl of stuff, but it’s tasty AF.

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, flour, cornstarch, a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla with just enough of the milk to make a very thick paste — it’s easier to whisk lumps out of thick pastes. When you have it pretty smooth, whisk in the rest of the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly — it’ll seem like nothing is happening, and then all of a sudden it’ll thicken.

When it’s thickened and bubbling, take it off the heat and whisk in the butter. You now have pastry cream. Let it cool completely. While you’re waiting, whip the cream. When the pastry cream is cold, whip it into the cream until just homogenous, no longer. You could just eat this like pudding, or dip berries in it, or use it as a spread for the angel food cake, or pour it inside the chocolate soufflé recipe below.


3 eggs
2 oz (60g) butter (plus a little more for buttering the ramekins)
4 oz (113g) chocolate bar, as dark as you want it
3 tablespoons (40g) granulated sugar
cream of tartar

This will only make two soufflés, but multiply as needed. Start by buttering the inside of two ramekins, and maybe dust the sides with sugar if you’re into that. Get the oven heating to 400ºF/200ºC.

Separate the eggs, reserving the yolks. Put a pinch of cream of tartar in with the whites and beat to stiff peaks. Beat in the sugar until you have a stiff meringue.

Heat the chocolate and butter until they just melt smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla. Whisk that into the meringue until just homogenous, no more.

Put the batter into the ramekins, smooth off the tops and do the thumb trick you see in the video at 7:13, I don’t know how to describe it here. Bake until they’re puffing up a lot but they’re still a little jiggly if you tap the ramekins, maybe 15 minutes.

Eat soon after you take them out of the oven — soufflés start falling immediately as they cool. Maybe pierce a hole in the center with your spoon and pour in some of the cremé diplomat recipe above.

21 Replies to “Do you really have to 'fold' egg foams? Can't you just mix them?”

  1. Yeah sorry Adam, this is one of the cases where you're just blatantly wrong. In every case I've ever seen, mixing instead of folding will result in a denser texture and a tighter crumb. Perhaps if you literally perfectly mix it won't, but the vast majority of people can't perfectly mix. My guess is that since you have a lot more experience than the average home cook, that you were able to attain that perfect mixing. I know I certainly noticed a difference when I tried mixing over folding cake batter.

  2. Beating egg whites to stiff peaks is exactly why I don't understand the need to fold them. By mixing you're literally doing exactly what you were just doing to them, just with extra ingredients!

  3. Adam consistently comes out with videos showing why he is perfectly justified in being lazy in the kitchen, and I am here for it xD

  4. I think the folding keeps you from over-mixing. Just like using a power drill on a screw can easily strip the screw, a power mixer can easily over-mix your whatever.

  5. Adam, do we still need to fold our clothes?

    I just hang my t-shirts on hangers. Quicker,
    and no fold lines.

    Seriously, I'll be folding my culinary creations
    less. AWESOME video.


  6. I wonder if this was more of an issue when people had to hand-beat everything. Hand-beating a meringue is pain in the ass enough, but trying to whisk in flour by hand? Fuuuuuck that, fold it

  7. I always assumed it was pointless, the physics of it never made sense.

  8. Rose Levy Beranbaum did some of her research on what tool is optimal for “folding “ which she recommended a large balloon whisk. See her discussion of whisks and folding in her books. The mixing technique depends on the mixing tool ( spoon, spatula, rod, fork, whisk, etc,)

  9. Actually no… I've watched professional chefs "fold" into egg whites… they beat the hell out of it… they're fast, they're violent… they're done! folding is a quick process… you're absolutely right… but for the final proof? Have a look at Jacques Pepin's "mother's souffle"… it's fantastic, and he doesn't even fold anything… Thanks Adam… another fantastic video.

  10. Might want to test Chef John’s pour-it-all in method for flour thickened sauces

  11. You know you don't need to borrow from Latin for this concept, right? "Negligible"

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