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I am planning on baking Macarons. The recipe requires whisking egg whites in an electric whisker but I don't have one. It is bit expensive to buy a good one for me right now and I do not have space in my kitchen to actually keep a machine like that.

I was wondering if there was any other way of doing it.

I don't know if beating eggs by hand would get the same result as it is supposed to be very fluffy.

Also I have an electric mixer in which I usually whisk eggs for a cake. My mixer is the one where I can press the button to create short pulses so it does not overdo the process. Does anyone know if I can use the same mixer to beat egg whites to the same consistency as an electric egg beater?

Any advice is appreciated.

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    I am sure it can be done because macarons predate stand mixers. Good luck. – Jolenealaska May 20 '15 at 3:50
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    Not sure what's wrong with your electric mixer... there's nothing special about an electric egg beater. – Catija May 20 '15 at 4:04
  • Thanks guys, that's the kind of boost i needed. @Jolenealaska and Catija – User56756 May 20 '15 at 4:35
  • You can do it by hand, it takes awhile, all you need is a bowl and a whisk. If cost is a problem you can probably pick up a used electric beater for peanuts and it would make things much faster. – GdD May 20 '15 at 7:57
  • Don't use a plastic bowl or you'll never get the eggs beaten to a froth, not even with an electric egg beater. – Escoce May 20 '15 at 11:35
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Yes, you can whip egg whites (or whipped cream, or....) by hand. There are a few things you need:

  • a reasonably large bowl
  • a good, sturdy whisk, again not too small
  • proper technique
  • a good amount of ellbow grease
  • patience

It will typically take longer than when using a mixer (for beginners, I've seen pros that could keep up with any measly old mixer, especially taking cleanup time into account) but lets you control the outcome better: less chance of overmixing or uneven results.

I myself have done it several times, either because I had no mixer at hand or because I was working in the middle of the night and didn't want to wake everyone and the neighbours.

For motivation, see this video and this video for technique and this video for fun or any other tutorial on the web.

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    I see what you guys mean.It totally makes sense. I was bit concerned as this is my first attempt at Macs but now i think fancy kitchenware is over-rated. I will give it a go maybe manually or the mixer I already have. By the way the Video is very motivating. I also liked the cake Jamie baked. It's on my list now. – User56756 May 20 '15 at 4:33
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    I don't know if it's overrated... your arm will likely get extremely tired and I'd honestly recommend having a friend/slave (child) around to help because it will be strenuous... and you'll probably be sore the next day if you don't hand-whisk things much. – Catija May 20 '15 at 4:38
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    I agree that it can be tough, but good technique helps, just don't try to be super-quick, be patient. Having a partner that can take over for a while is an excellent idea. Just try it at least once to see that it can be done, if only for fun or lack of other tools. I have an old (pre-electric appliances) cook book that states for a pound cake: "cream butter and yolks for 1/2 hour, .... , whisk egg whites until stiff, ..., whisk cream for filling". That makes clear why cakes were for special occasions! – Stephie May 20 '15 at 4:49
  • While I agree it's possible, I don't know if I'd use it for macarons. The proper technique has to be learned - despite having done it every now and then, my hand whipped egg whites (French meringue) always end up somewhat stiffer and weepier than the machine whipped ones, which is problematic for very sensitive applications. And if you are using Swiss meringue, you are going to have to whip for a long time even with an electric mixer, your hand will really be very, very tired with a hand whisk. Macarons are frustrating enough as it is, no need to make them more so. – rumtscho May 20 '15 at 9:19
  • It is not that difficult. I made hand-whisked meringues several times as a young child, before we had a mixer. You do need to monitor the stiffness and stop at the right consistency, but that is at least as easy to do when hand whisking as with a mixer. It helps to be able to whisk with either hand, so that you can switch hands if one gets tired. I was a bit pre-trained because I was used to creaming butter and sugar with a wooden spoon to make a cake. – Patricia Shanahan May 20 '15 at 11:01
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You say:

Also I have an electric mixer in which I usually whisk eggs for a cake.

Why not use it? There's nothing special about an electric egg beater, really.

You'll find it much less strenuous than hand-whisking, even if it's a hand mixer rather than a stand mixer.

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