Cuisine at Home : 2020-02-11

Cuisine Class : 55 : 55

Cuisine Class

Italian Meringue The sturdiest of the three types, Italian meringue is a cooked meringue. It involves making a sugar syrup (sugar and water) cooked to the soft-ball stage (238–240°), and slowly adding it to whipped egg whites, with the mixer running, until stiff, glossy peaks form and the meringue feels cool to the touch. It’s considered the most challengin­g to make because it not only involves the syrup, but the syrup must be ready at the same time as the whites. Thus, this may require raising or lowering the heat of the syrup and/or the speed of the mixer. Italian meringue should have a soft and creamy texture — they’re usually used for buttercrea­m or meringue frostings or for decorating pastries. So as not to splatter the syrup, pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the mixer bowl or between the side and the beater, but not directly onto the beater. YOU CAN START TO ADD THE SUGAR at the frothy stage, but the whites take longer to whip. You’ll get good volume faster if you add it when soft peaks form, but the foam can dry out if you wait too long. AN EASY WAY TO TEST THAT THE SUGAR IS DISSOLVED is to rub a little of the meringue between your fingertips. It should feel smooth, not gritty. YOU’LL KNOW IF YOU OVER-WHIP the meringue because it will be grainy, dull, dry, and start to clump, or it may begin to separate. JUST WHIPPED MERINGUES are extremely fragile. They should be made right before they’re to be used. If they sit too long, they’ll start to break down. 55 ISSUE 140 | APRIL 2020