Meringue powder is pasteurised egg whites that are mixed with modified food starch, sugar, gum Arabic, calcium sulphate, citric acid, cream of tartar, silicon dioxide and vanilla flavouring. It has a long shelf life and is less wasteful than using real eggs. It also cannot cause salmonella infections, which is why it is a popular addition to frosting recipes. However, finding alternatives to meringue powder is not difficult and is very beneficial for those who suffer from egg allergies or choose not to consume eggs.
Powdered Egg Whites
Powdered egg whites are dried and pasturized egg whites that can be used as a replacement for egg whites. It is real egg white, so it can be used to replace meringue powder for most frosting recipes. To make royal icing, mix together 2 tablespoons of powdered egg whites and 2 teaspoons of water in a large bowl. Gradually add 2 cups confectioner's sugar to egg white mixture until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and a dash of salt. Use an electric mixer to beat until fluffy.
Meringue powder was created as a substitute for egg whites. Therefore, you can use the real thing to replace meringue powder in a recipe. Meringue itself is beating together egg whites and sugar. The problem with using egg whites is that salmonella infections could be contracted, though it is rare. Meringue frosting is made by boiling 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water until the syrup spins a thread. In a bowl, beat 2 egg whites until stiff. Slowly pour the sugar mixture over the egg whites and beat until it reaches the consistency of frosting.
Using agar -- a gelatinous substance extracted from marine red algae -- instead of eggs is beneficial for those allergic to eggs. Because it is natural and free of animal products, this substitute is great for vegetarians and vegans as well. Replace each egg in the recipe by dissolving 1 tablespoon plain agar powder into 1 tablespoon water. Whisk the mixture, chill and whisk again. Flavouring, such as vanilla, can be added at any time.
If no egg replacement is desirable or found, there are many alternative frosting recipes that will work as a substitute for your recipe containing meringue powder. Royal icing, butter cream, cream cheese, whipped cream all work interchangeably with meringue style recipes. Vanilla frosting is made by blending together 1/3 cup softened butter and 3 cups confectioner's sugar. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk. Beat together until fluffy and spreadable.