Meringue rules – flourish – king arthur flour hp gas online registration


Egg whites and sugar seem innocent enough — they’re just two little ingredients. But bakers? We know better. Whip those ingredients into a frenzy and they become a sweet, fluffy cloud known as meringue. This magical treat can be baked into a soft pie topping, a crunchy cookie, or something in the middle: pavlova. Alas, meringue has acquired a veil of hesitancy in many bakers; the list of “meringue rules” seems to grow every day. We’ve tested some of these no-no’s to find just how many meringue rules can be bent.

How exactly does a bowl of egg whites become a shiny cloud of sweetness? It’s all about the proteins. Some proteins in egg whites repel water and others are attracted to it. (Chick magnet? Anyone?) The proteins in the whites will start to unravel, or “denature” as you begin whipping, and will form bonds with the water (naturally occurring in the egg whites) and the air created by the mixer.

To stabilize the mixture, an acidic ingredient is recommended. Adding a half teaspoon of cream of tartar to your 3 egg whites for a pavlova for example will coax our beautiful bubbles into grabbing onto each other, making them much less likely to collapse. Who knew a little acidity had the power to force protein friendships?

The addition of sugar coats the bubbles, preventing them from continuing to grow and grow, and potentially overwhipping and collapsing. You’re left with voluminous, shiny, sweet meringue that’s ready to be baked into whatever form you wish. Science!

Whether it be vinegar, lemon juice, cream of tartar, or a combination, an acid will greatly improve the structure of meringue. Acid not only helps meringue whip up and aerate more quickly, it also keeps it stable. Without acid, meringue is more likely to collapse either during or after mixing. Starch

Cornstarch, while added during mixing, doesn’t show off its benefits until after the meringue is baked. A few teaspoons of cornstarch mixed with the sugar helps by soaking up any liquid left in your meringue, leaving it shiny, beautiful, and puddle-free. Starch is especially helpful in hot, humid weather when a meringue is most likely to absorb extra moisture.

Extracts and flavors aren’t necessary, but they’re a pleasant addition. Be it a teaspoon of almond extract, a couple drops of lemon oil, or a drizzle of fragrant, speckled Pure Vanilla Plus, a little bit of added flavor will take simple meringue to the next level. Salt

Now that we’ve determined what we need to create this pillow of sweet goodness, we can begin scrutinizing some of the dos and don’ts of meringue. Are these hard and fast rules or simply suggestions? Let’s see! Meringue rule 1: Don’t let any egg yolk wind up in your bowl

This was the first rule I learned in culinary school. Yolks equal fat, and fat makes it pretty much impossible for the proteins in your egg whites to unravel and start forming bubbles. Fat will coat the proteins, preventing them from becoming friends. Rude.

Abide — Fats are not friends in the world of meringue. Too many meringue rules preventing you from baking them? We’ve weeded through the long list and simplified the steps for this whipped wonder. Click To Tweet Meringue rule 2: Don’t whip meringue in a plastic bowl

This is, again, an issue of fat. Plastic bowls and utensils tend to develop a thin coat of oil over time. Because it’s very hard to thoroughly scrub off that coating, metal, glass, or ceramic bowls are preferred. Verdict: Abide or let slide?

This one is up for debate. Room temperature (68°F to 72°F) egg whites will whip up faster. Cold eggs are easier to separate. The solution? Separate your eggs while they’re cold, placing the whites into a small container before adding them to the mixing bowl to come to room temp. It’s an extra dish to wash, but if one of the yolks breaks and falls into the container, it’s better to have to toss one egg white instead of the whole batch.

Cold egg whites straight from the fridge will whip up, though it takes a lot longer to see any real volume. However, if you’re making a meringue-based buttercream, room-temperature egg whites are vital. When it comes time to add the soft butter to the meringue, a colder mixture could seize the butter and prevent it from becoming a smooth, cohesive buttercream. Verdict: Abide or let slide?

Let slide — For meringue-based buttercreams such as Italian Buttercream, use room-temperature egg whites. For everything else, either cold or room temperature will work, but cold egg whites will take longer. How long? It took me 22 minutes to reach the stiff-peak stage using eggs right from the fridge.

We prefer to use Baker’s Special Sugar when making meringue because the tiny granules dissolve beautifully in egg whites. Superfine sugar such as this will leave you with a smooth, shiny meringue. Regular granulated sugar doesn’t dissolve as well and can leave a rough, bumpy appearance. These bumps don’t go away with baking. The meringue will work, but it won’t be as pretty.