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Over in the Bakestarters’ blog, we’ve talked about the different types of meringues, the French meringue, and its Swiss counterpart. The Italian meringue, which I’m going to be touching on today, is considered to be the most stable of all meringues, making it suitable for baked Alaskas or as a base for mousses. However, I would consider it to be the most complicated meringue to whip up.
Meringue in itself refers to a whipped egg white and sugar mixture baked to a crisp. Of course, sometimes instead of baking it, you may use the whipped mixture as a base for buttercream or mousses.
The Italian meringue is a method of preparing meringue that involves cooking a sugar syrup (really hot!), and whipping it into egg whites till stiff peaks. This results in the most stable meringue, and it also means that it’s safe to eat as it is.
While it’s optional, adding an acid such as lemon juice or cream of tartar can help the meringue to stabilise better. As mentioned, Italian meringue is one of the most complicated to whip up as you’ll have to cook a sugar syrup while your egg whites are getting beaten. Therefore, I would recommend you to use a stand mixer when making Italian meringue!
Besides a stand mixer, you’ll also need a kitchen thermometer to measure the temperature of the sugar syrup. You won’t be able to use your fingers like the Swiss meringue as the sugar syrup is very, very hot!
Ready to try it out? Here’s a simple, basic recipe for Italian meringue.
4 large egg whites (~140g)
280g granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar (optional)
For more tips on making meringues, visit our article on the three different types of meringues.
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