French Meringue Recipe
Egg whites and sugar are the two ingredients needed to make three types of meringues. French Meringue, Italian Meringue, and Swiss Meringue are prepared using different techniques, two of which require heat, and each meringue used in a different way.
French Meringue is the easiest method of making meringue. French meringue are used as a base for iced desserts, individual meringues, petits fours.
Tips for making the perfect meringue
NO TRACE OF FAT:
The smallest amount of fat will prevent the whites from whipping up,so make sure the eggs are cleanly separated,with no flecks of yolk in the whites.And of course the mixing bowl and the whisk must be completely clean and dry as well.
AT ROOM TEMPERATURE:
Egg whites whip up far more easily at room temperature rather being taking straight from the refrigerator, so remember to get them out at least 2 hours before making meringues.
WHICH SUGAR IS BEST?
The egg whites should be whisked with superfine sugar rather than confectioners sugar, as the latter contains starch,which will prevent the whites from whisking up properly. Sugars with larger crystals are not suitable, as they will not dissolve as well as super fine sugar when whisked with the egg whites.
WHY ADD VINEGAR OR CREAM OF TARTAR TO FRENCH MERINGUE?
Adding a few drops of white vinegar,lemon juice or a pinch of cream of tartar to the meringue mixture results in a smoother texture and stops the whipped whites becoming granular and loosing bulk. Adding one of these is strongly recommended if you are making a large quantity of mixture or a large meringue.
BAKE QUICKLY AFTER MIXTURE IS READY:
Meringue wait for no one, so shape and bake the mixture as soon as you have made it.
USE AND STORAGE(AFTER BAKING)
Type of Meringue
|French Meringue||Base for iced desserts,individual pastries and meringues,Petits fours||Several weeks in an airtight container,protected from moisture|
|Italian Meringue||Decoration layered desserts and small pastries,baked Alaska, Mouses||24 hour in the refrigerator,well covered in plastic wrap|
|Swiss Meringue||Individual pastries and decorations||
Several weeks, well covered in plastic wrap, in an airtight container and protected from moisture
Makes about 10 oz(300 g)
- Egg whites 3.5 oz/100 g (1/2 cup)(about 3-1/2 whites)
- White vinegar 1 tsp/ 5 ml
- Salt a pinch
- Superfine sugar 6 oz/175 g(1 cup)
- Confectioners sugar,sifted 1 oz/25 g(2 tbsp)
- Preheat the oven to 225 F/105 C/Gas mark 1/4.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the egg whites,vinegar,and salt in the stand mixer at medium-high speed until firm and frothy.
- Whisk in the superfine sugar gradually so the whites do not deflate.
- Keep whisking until the sugar has dissolved completely and the whites are stiff and shiny.
- When you lift the whisk the mixture should hold firm peaks.
- Quickly and carefully fold in confectioners sugar using a spatula, taking care not to deflate the meringue.
- Spoon the meringue into the pastry bag fitted with a round tip or any tip of your choice.
- Pipe the desired shapes onto lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 2-4 hours, depending on the size of the meringues.