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Namiko Chen's recipe for Japanese cheesecake specifically requires that the egg whites be beaten chilled. I have also asked my Japanese friends to check other Japanese recipes and they get the same instructions. On the other hand, Western recipes for Japanese cake calls for the egg whites to be beaten at room temperature. I assume that since Japanese souffle cheesecake is originally from Japan, the Japanese version is the "correct" one and that the room-temperature requirement is a modification by Westerners who copied the recipe.

I have tried Namiko's recipe with great results. The egg whites took quite some time to beat, but they remained stable even without cream of tartar. I presume beating the egg whites cold will take a longer time but will give more stability, but is this something that's well-known? I know that the same holds for cream, I just have never read it for egg whites.

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    To throw a curveball, I've been always taught that beating egg (or eggs whites) that are chilled and doing it in cold room make things faster. We also never use cream of tartar, just a pinch of salt to keep the temp low. – SZCZERZO KŁY Aug 26 '20 at 8:29
  • Interesting. So I guess it's not just a Japanese thing then. – irene Aug 26 '20 at 9:13
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I've always heard beat egg whites at room temperature, but cream when it's cold. I was only able to find one study that included this information.

According to Miller and Vail 42 the whipping temperature of the egg white affects its foaming capacity and stability. Beating egg whites at room temperature (70–80 °F/21–27 °C) resulted in improved whipping quality, more stable foams and tenderer cakes with greater volume than egg whites beaten at lower temperatures.38, 42 Conversely, beating egg whites (to the soft peak stage) at 2 °C or 22 °C did not show any significant difference in the time needed to achieve such consistency nor in the final volume of the cake

Essentially colder eggs tend to be less stable when made into meringue, but shouldn't take a significantly different amount of time. They go on to say that if you're using an electric mixer it probably doesn't matter as much.

McGee6 recommends using eggs at room temperature but also states that eggs kept under refrigeration warm up while beating and will whip just as well, especially when using electric mixers.

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  • Wonderful resource! Thanks! – irene Aug 31 '20 at 9:17

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