>> The point about ingredients and materials
The egg whites
They don't need to be fresh. Indeed, the ideal is that they already have a few days or even a few weeks. In pastry, the eggs are cooked, so there is no problem. Take them out of the fridge a few hours before serving, so that they are at room temperature.
Powdered or granulated sugar, the type of sugar changes depending on the type of meringue you want to get. Note: icing sugar contains a little starch, which binds and incorporates more quickly.
Add a few drops of lemon juice to make the egg whites hold better.
Choose a glass or stainless steel bowl, the plastic can sometimes be covered with a thin film of "fat" which will prevent the egg whites from swelling properly. If they are fresh, the egg whites whip better. You can even put them in an iced bain-marie: instead of hot water, use cold water and ice.
The pastry bag
It is practical for making meringues. If you don't have it, you can use a food bag to cut a corner.
The rubber spatula
Useful for cleaning the bottom of the dish without losing a crumb of your meringue and for smoothing, if you opt for large meringues.
The egg whites / sugar ratio
It takes 2 doses of sugar for one dose of egg whites for the meringue to be compact. So weigh the egg whites, or you start from the idea that for an average egg, the egg white will weigh 30 g. Add the granulated sugar as the egg whites swell, and the icing sugar once they are whipped, gently.
This is the question that everyone asks themselves! It all depends on the size of your meringues, the oven, the kitchen (more or less humid), the texture you prefer (dry or humid inside).
There are two basic rules: the longer and at a low temperature they cook, the better they are. We can therefore stay between 60 ° and 90 ° C, avoiding exceeding 100 ° C. Nevertheless, cooking at 120-140 ° C works, but "empty" and very fragile meringues come out. It is also possible to "scald" them at a high temperature (120-140 ° C) for 20 minutes, and then leave them to dry in the oven almost off.
The secret of the "soft" heart: it is very easy, just "stop" cooking. Or, make two-sized meringues. When the smaller ones are cooked inside, the larger ones will still be soft.
>> The recipe (for 5 medium or 15 small meringues)
- 120 g of granulated sugar
- 120 g of powdered sugar
- 120 g of egg white (about 4 egg whites)
- 1 drop of lemon juice
Beat the egg whites until stiff with the lemon juice, gradually incorporating the granulated sugar. When everything is well whipped, bright and compact, incorporate the icing sugar with a spatula.
Form small or large meringues on a baking sheet covered with non-stick paper. Bake at 90 ° C, leaving the oven door ajar to let out the moisture and prevent the sugar from turning caramel. Cooking time: 1 and a half hours (small) or 2 and a half hours (medium)
>> The different types of meringue
Whipped egg whites until stiff with sugar (granulated or icing). It is very simple to make and it is not necessary to be a master cook or have any specific material (Weight of sugar = 2 times the weight of egg whites).
The Italian meringue
Incorporate a sugar syrup with the whipped egg whites until stiff (sugar = egg whites weight x 1-1.5). It is relatively "soft". It is difficult to do, boiling sugar "cooks" the egg whites, you need a good electric whisk, a sugar thermometer and make sure that the egg whites are not too cold ...
The same procedure is used to make nougat.
The egg whites are whipped until stiff with sugar on a warm bain marie. It is less dry and brittle than French meringue, and is mainly used for decorating.
Any basic recipes for envious meringues? here they are!