Italian meringue

Italian meringue

By
From
B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself
Makes
6 (or 2 pavlova bases)

Great fun to make, and not as hard as it seems. There are a couple of pitfalls that you might come across every now and again, but there are also loads of ways to recover meringue if you muck it up, so don’t worry! This recipe makes quite a lot, but I find that if you make it in smaller quantities there is more room for error. For this recipe, you will need a confectionery thermometer. Now I know that can be a pretty intimidating piece of kit for some people. In fact, I used to be proper scared of it when I was just starting out, but they are easy to use, and you should definitely get one.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
180g caster sugar
3 large egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
or 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
confectionery thermometer
stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment
piping bag and nozzle, (optional)

Method

  1. Start by putting 150 g of the sugar and 60 ml of water into a small saucepan with a confectionery thermometer (the smaller the saucepan the better, so the bottom of the thermometer can be submerged). Set over a medium-high heat and allow to heat up. The temperature will rise quite quickly until the sugar reaches 100°C when the water boils, then more slowly until the sugar reaches 121°C. (This may be indicated as ‘soft ball’ on your thermometer.)
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites and remaining 30 g sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Once they begin to form soft peaks, add the cream of tartar or lemon juice (these are both acidic, helping the meringue maintain its structure).
  3. Once the egg whites have formed stiff peaks and the sugar has reached 121°C, it’s time to cook the eggs! Turn the mixer on to full power and pour a steady stream of the molten sugar into the bowl. Make sure you don’t hit the whisk with the sugar, as this will shoot the sugar all around the sides of the bowl, welding it there so it doesn’t cook the eggs.
  4. Once all the molten sugar has been added, the bowl should be pretty hot. Leave the mixer on full speed until the bowl has cooled fully; this should take around 10 minutes.
  5. Once cooled down, you can either spoon the meringue into a piping bag for use (it is now totally safe to eat as you have cooked the eggs), or you can go crazy and add some flavour and butter for Italian buttercream meringue.

Note

  • This recipe has a level 1 (beginner) difficulty.

Extras

  • If you want to turn Italian meringue into Italian meringue buttercream (and if you do, it’ll change your life), take 250 g (yes 250 g!) of unsalted butter at room temperature and whisk it into the Italian meringue on high speed, about 25 g at a time, until fully combined. The buttercream can be flavoured with 45 ml of a liqueur of your choice, or strong coffee, or 1 teaspoon of flavourings or extracts. Be careful with rose or lavender essences, though, as they can make the meringue taste soapy. Best use only ½ teaspoon of those.

    Once you’ve flavoured it, load it into a piping bag and keep it out of the fridge until using, or the butter will firm up and you won’t be able to pipe it. It will last for a few hours in the bag, or a few days once piped and refrigerated.
Tags:
Great British Bake Off
Baking
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