Today, I am sharing 5 crucial tips to make a perfect Italian meringue at home.
The process of Italian meringue is very simple:
- Whip up egg white and make meringue.
- Make syrup. 117-119C (242.6-246F)
- Add the syrup to the meringue as you whip.
That's it! It is quite simple, but if you don't know the tips, a lot of things can go wrong. You may have encountered some problems in the past such as loose or grainy Italian meringue... etc. I am mentioning all the points that are tied to the failures. And all the ways you can avoid them. So let's get started!
Now I am explaining all processes in detail so that you can make it successfully!
📌 What's In Italian meringue?
3 Simple Ingredients:
- Egg white
- Make sure there are no oils (yolks, etc) and liquids mixed in so that it whips up very well.
- Granulated sugar
- We use sugar and water to make hot syrup.
📍 The printable recipe is at the very end of this post.Jump to Recipe
📌 Frequently Asked Questions
You can. It’s possible but with less sugar, it is less stable and won’t hold a shape as much. If it’s 10% or 20%, the difference shouldn’t be too big though!
If it was very sticky, they are some reasons I can think of:
* The temperature was not high enough with your oven.
you can try baking at higher temperatures. Just turn it up slightly so that it won’t get toasted.
* It takes longer to cook through the center because they are big.
Try piping smaller if it was bigger. The baking time will be shorter.
* The meringue was loose. Only if it looked like that!
It happens when:
- The temperature of the syrup was not high enough.
- The meringue was not whipped enough before you add syrup
- liquid or oil got mixed in the bowl
* After they are baked, store them with a silica gel if you don’t eat them right away. They soak up all the moisture!
Yes. But there are a couple of things to be careful of because the volume is lower with a half batch. The whisk (when you use a stand mixer) can not pick up the syrup. And that can end up in runnier meringue oftentimes.
To prevent that, try the:
* Use a smaller bowl if possible
* Make sure that the meringue looks very fluffy before you add syrup
* Whip well after adding syrup
Also, use a small pan for the syrup so that the water does not evaporate too much.
📌 How To Make Italian Meringue
My first tip comes in before we start whipping egg white. which is:
Tip #1: Make sure all the tools and egg whites are clean with no oil and liquids.
This is very important to make a fluffy meringue. That is because egg whites do not get whipped well when they come in contact with oil or liquids - the meringue becomes less stable.
You might have heard before that egg whites do not get whipped well when egg yolks are mixed in. That is because yolks contain oil.
Also, make sure all the tools are completely dry and clean. Even a little amount of oil can affect the result.
Step 1: Whip egg whites.
Now add egg whites to a mixing bowl. And start whipping.
You can either start heating your sugar and water after you start whipping egg whites or before that. I start whipping with a lower speed first, start heating sugar and water, and gradually increase the whipping speed to control the timing.
And once you start whipping egg whites, do not stop! The condition of the meringue will not be the same after you restart whipping.
When you are using a hand mixer, you're going to have to move your hands for both meringue and syrup at the same time. So work closely with the bowl and pot and set everything ready before you start everything.
And how much you whip before adding the syrup is very important to make a firm meringue.
Tip #2: Whip meringue well before adding syrup.
The finished meringue gets loose when you do not whip it enough before adding the syrup. I gotta say depending on the recipes, they ask for different things here. Some recipes ask you to whip until it gets soapy and others say to whip until it gets fluffy. I tried many ways and can tell you that you will be less likely to fail when you whip until it looks very fluffy.
When you add syrup to the not-so-fluffy meringue, you'll more likely to have a more soft, loose meringue. If that is the consistency you like, it is not even a problem. But with that, it'll be harder to pipe or frost beautifully because it can not hold shapes well.
See the 2 photos below as examples:
But of course, do not continue whipping until the meringue starts getting thick. It separates when it's whipped too much. Whip just until it looks very fluffy and smooth like in the photo above.
Step 2: Make syrup.
Now, let's make syrup. As I mentioned earlier, you can start making it before or after you start whipping the egg white of your choice. You'll need to control the timing so that the meringue can be ready to use by the time the syrup is ready.
First, add sugar to a pot and pour water all over it. Shake a pot if needed to make sure the sugar is wet completely. When the sugar is not evenly wet, it can crystalize while it is heated.
And brush all around the edge with water to wash off any sugar attached to it. This also prevents sugar from crystalizing while it is heated. I recommend you brush a couple more times as you heat to prevent that from happening.
And the temperature of the syrup is very crucial to decide the thickness of the meringue.
Tip #3: Heat the syrup to 117 - 119 C | 242.6 - 246 F.
They are the golden temperatures to make the elastic and shiny yet firm Italian meringue. The consistency is perfect to pipe or frost easily.
When the temperature is lower than that range, the meringue gets loose. And when the temperature is higher, the meringue gets too firm or grainy.
The most commonly used temperature is 118 C | 244 F.
If this is your first time making Italian meringue, I recommend you try that temperature first and see if you like the texture. Depending on that, you can heat up slightly less or more next time.
Also, do not shake a pot or move it around while you are heating it. Sugar can crystalize by doing so.
I highly recommend you use a thermometer to check the temperature for the most accuracy. But I get a lot of questions about how to check it without a thermometer. And there is a way:
How to check if the syrup is ready
How to check if the syrup is 118 C | 244 F without a thermometer:
- Prepare ice water in a bowl.
- Drop a small amount of the syrup into ice water using a spoon.
- Wait for a second until it cools down completely.
- Squish with your fingers. It should be firm but still elastic enough to form a ball.
Step 3: Add syrup to the meringue.
Once the syrup reaches the temperature, turn off the heat right away. When it is just made, it bubbles like crazy. I like to wait for about 5 seconds until the bubble calms down slightly so that it does not cook too much meringue partially. It is not a game changer but something I always do.
Now, how to add syrup to the meringue is VERY important.
Tip #4: Add slowly along the side.
Just like the photo below, add syrup slowly along the side of a bowl.
By adding syrup along the side slowly, it goes down slowly like a slide and a whisk can pick it up more easily.
When you pour syrup over the whisk, it can scatter everywhere. Or when you pour between the side and a whisk, the syrup falls fast and some can sink to the bottom.
When you add too much at once, your egg white can get cooked up partially. When you add too fast, some syrup can sink to the bottom.
Also, it is very important to continue whipping at high speed while you are adding syrup. With the speed, it picks up the syrup well before it gets too hard.
And I see a lot of people leave too much syrup in a pan which messes up the ratio of sugar and egg white. Flip a pan toward the end as you pour and drop off as much syrup as you can.
When you wait too long, it starts to get thick and sticks to a pan. Don't wait more than 5-10 seconds before you pour it.
Step 4: Continue whipping.
After adding all the syrup, continue whipping at high speed. Some people stop whipping too soon at this point.
Tip #5: Continue whipping fast until it cools down enough.
While the meringue is hot, it is not stable yet. The size of the bubbles is bigger as well. When you try to use the hot or very warm Italian meringue, you'll notice it looks rougher, not so shiny, and elastic.
Continue whipping at high speed until it cools down enough. The process is very important to make a shiny, smooth, firm, and elastic Italian meringue.
To check if the meringue is cooled enough, touch the bowl or the meringue itself. When it feels very slightly warm, it is ready. Very slightly is the key.
A lot of people think they need to continue whipping until it feels cold but that is not true. Because when you continue whipping even after it's cooled, the volume starts to go down. Once it cools down, it starts to get firmer and set.
Ideally, stop when it is very slightly warm and by the time you pipe or frost, the temperature goes down slightly - almost like you don't feel anything when you touch. And by the time you finish piping or frosting, it is completely cooled and set.
Step 5: After it's made...
After the Italian meringue is made, it is VERY important to use it right after. If you need to pipe it, do it as fast as possible. That is because meringue slowly loses its stability as it sits at room temperature especially when the room is not cool.
Also, as it cools down, it gets firmer. When you mix or even touch it after it's set completely, it breaks down and gets loose. And you won't be able to re-whip or pipe that again with the same consistency.
📌 How to make meringue cookies
To make meringue cookies, pipe them right away as I mentioned earlier. And bake right away while the condition is the best.
Bake in an oven at 100-105 C or 210-220 F slowly for 1-3 hours depending on the size. If you want it to cook up faster, you can pipe them small. And color the meringue as you like!
To check if it's done, gently touch the surface: When it is dry and firm, it is done! When it's still soft, bake longer.
Once they are cool, it's ready! It is very light and crunchy and melts in the mouth. Such an amazing feeling. It is a perfect little snack.
When you can not eat it right away, you can store it in an air-tight container with silica gel.
Any type of meringue gets sticky after a few hours or faster depending on the humidity in the room. That is because meringue likes to soak up humidity fast. So if you want to store it, you'll need a silica gel inside the container to soak up all the moisture so that meringue can not! Here is the link to one of the silica gel products I often purchase. You can use any of your favorites. By the way, they are not edible, so tell kids they can't eat them!
📌 VIDEO: Italian Meringue
To see how to make Italian meringue visually and get a better understanding of all, check out the video tutorial:
Don't forget to subscribe if you liked it😉
📌 Printable recipe
5 Tips To Make A Perfect Italian Meringue
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Pot (Small one)
- 7.9 oz Egg white
- 15.9 oz Granulated sugar
- 5.3 oz Water
- Preparation: Tip #1: Make sure all the tools and egg whites are clean with no oil and liquids.
- Whip egg whites until it gets fluffy.Tip #2: Whip it well until it looks fluffy before adding syrup.7.9 oz Egg white
- Make syrup:Heat sugar and water together at medium heat. Make sure that the sugar is wet completely before heating. Brush the edge with water on the way. Tip #3: Heat the sugar and water in a pod to 117 - 119 C | 242.6 - 246 F.15.9 oz Granulated sugar, 5.3 oz Water
- Add the hot syrup to the meringue while you whip it at high speed.Tip #4: Add it slowly along the side.
- Continue whipping:Tip #5: Continue whipping it fast and turn down the speed as it cools down. Stop whipping when it doesn't feel anything or very slightly warm when you touch the bowl or the meringue itself.
- After it's made:After the meringue is made, it is important to use it right away while the condition is the best.
How to make meringue cookies with them
- And color the meringue as you like and pipe it with a pastry bag.Bake at 100 - 105 C | 210 - 220 F slowly for 1 - 3 hours depending on the size. Pipe them small if you want them to bake faster. * Adjust the time and temperature accordingly.
- To check if it's done, gently touch the surface. If it's still soft, bake more. If you feel it is dried and set, it is done!Let them cool.
Go back to the top of this post.
Leave a Reply