Okay, I know this is irrational, but can food writers please stop devising recipes that call for beaten egg whites? I find nothing more infuriating than starting to make something and then finding you need to beat egg whites to complete it (yes, yes, I know I ought to actually read these recipes before I start cooking).
I'm afraid I find few things more frustrating. It takes ages to get anywhere, makes my arm ache and I always, always run out of patience before it's actually 'stiff'. I don't own a blender so I'm required to do this by hand.
Then there's the damned 'folding' - can anyone tell me what that actually means? I realise it's all about blending the egg whites in carefully to retain the air, but how do you know when you have mixed it enough? Where exactly is the point of balance?
Yesterday E and I made a chocolate cake which called for beaten egg whites to be folded in. I thought I'd done OK but as it cooked there were pale crusty bits on top of the cake from the eggs not being mixed in properly. I just smothered them in chocolate icing and got away with it, but how annoying.
From now on I am declaring my house an egg-white-free zone so I can stop muttering more swearwords than Gordon Ramsay.