Meringue is a simple yet delectable dessert made from whipped egg whites and sugar. It can also be flavoured with vanilla, almond, rose or other cooking extracts. The most typical way to eat meringue is as a simple baked cookie; however, the pastry is also used in cake decorating. For cake decorating, meringue is primarily used in one of two ways: as traditional cookies placed upon the cake or as a frosting.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Superfine or caster sugar
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Cream of tartar
- Cooking extract (optional)
- Whisk or electric mixer
- Parchment paper
- Pastry bag
- Candy thermometer
- Pastry brush
- Food dye (optional)
Preheat oven to 93.3 degrees Celsius.
Decide on the number of cookies that you want to make and calculate the number of eggs and the amount of sugar that you need to use. The standard ratio is 50 grams of sugar for every egg white. Using 150 grams of sugar with three egg whites will make approximately 20 cookies 2cm in width. That should be enough cookies to cover a standard size cake.
Whip the egg whites using a handheld whisk or an electric mixer on low-speed until foamy.
Add the sugar slowly as you continue to whisk the egg whites. Continue to beat the mixture until it becomes stiff. The meringue should hold in an upward peak without falling over.
Add 1/8 tsp cream of tartar and 1 tsp of any desired extract and continue to whisk.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray. Use either a spoon or a pastry bag to form small cookies directly onto the parchment paper.
Bake for approximately 90 minutes. Rotate the rack once at the 45-minute mark to ensure even baking.
Allow the cookies to cool completely, and then place them on your cake.
Measure your ingredients. For a small to standard cake, you will need 3 egg whites, 1/2 cup water, 165 grams of superfine sugar, 1/8 tsp cream of tartar and 1 tsp of any desired cooking extract.
Mix together 1/2 cup water and 150 grams of sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture slowly to a boil until the mixture reaches 135 degrees Celsius.
Dip your pastry brush in cold water and lightly brush down any sugar crystals that may have formed inside the pot back into the mixture.
Whip together egg whites with the remaining sugar and the cream of tartar using either a handheld whisk or an electric mixer on low speed. When the mixture begins to form small peaks that hold on their own, remove the sugar syrup from the heat and add it to the mixture. Add the cooking extract and whisk for an additional three minutes.
Frost cake immediately.
Tips and warnings
- Explore variations of this recipe by experimenting with different cooking extracts.
- Make a more colourful cake by adding food dye to your meringue.
- Place a few dabs of meringue on the baking tray before laying down the parchment paper. This will ensure that your parchment paper sticks to the sheet.
- Do not use waxed paper in place of parchment paper. The meringue will not stick to waxed paper.
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