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Sunday, 3 March 2013

MERINGUE!





MERINGUE

Meringue is made of egg whites & sugar whipped together to incorporate air & form soft peaks. The usual ratio of sugar to egg whites is 2 to 1, measured by weight. Egg whites whipped without sugar are not meringue, they are simply egg whites whipped to a dry consistency.
            For perfect meringue, the following are the guidelines.
1.      Use egg whites at room temperature.
2.      Be sure the egg whites are not so old that they have started to deteriorate & get cloudy.
3.      Because fat prevents egg white from expanding, make sure they are clean & free of any egg yolk particles. The mixing bowl & whip or whisk must also be clean.

There are three basic types of meringues. French, Swiss & Italian. The ingredients for each type are essentially the same, but the methods of preparation & results are different.
·         French meringue is the best for mixing with nuts & using as a cake base. It should not be held for more than 10minutes before baking or the egg whites may start to separate from the sugar.
·         Italian meringue is a better choice if the meringue must stand for some time. It is denser because the egg whites are partially cooked & therefore it holds up longer before baking.
Swiss meringue is a mixture between French & Italian meringue. It is usually used in butter, creams & fillings, can be piped out in different shapes, then baked or dried.


Meringue should be baked at low temperature 200°F (94°C).  Meringue should be stored in warm, dry place. Meringue should not colour as it is baked.



FRENCH MERINGUE (2 LITRE, 880 ML)

480ml egg whites
910gms granulated sugar
3drops lemon juice / tartaric acid solution

PREPARATION:

·         If you are using a copper bowl to whip the meringue, omit the lemon juice or tartaric acid solution. Whip the egg whites, a handful of the sugar, & the lemon or tartaric acid for about 2mts or until the mixture has tripled in volume & has the consistency of thick foam.
·         Still whipping at high speed, gradually add the remaining sugar; this should take about 3mts. Continue to whip the meringue at high speed until stiff peaks form. Do not over whip.
·         Pipe or spread the meringue into the desired shape as soon as possible.
·         Bake at 200°F until dry.

ITALIAN MERINGUE (4l, 800ml)

480ml egg whites
680gm granulated sugar
240 ml light corn syrup
1 cup water (240ml)

PREPARATION:

·         Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl so you will be ready to start whipping them when the sugar syrup is ready.
·         Boil the sugar, corn syrup & water. When the syrup reaches 230°F (110°C), began whipping the egg whites on high speed. Continue boiling the syrup until it reaches 247°F (120°).
·         Remove the syrup from the heat & lower the mixer speed to medium. Pour the syrup into the egg whites in a thin steady stream. Turn the mixer back up to a high & continue to whip the meringue until it forms stiff peaks, approximately 5mts longer.

NOTE:

If you do not have a sugar thermometer, boil the syrup for about 8 mnts on medium heat before you start whipping the egg whites. Then let the syrup boil for about 6 mnts longer, before you add it to the whipped whites.

SWIS MERINGUE (1LITRE, 920ML)

480ml egg whites
910gm granulated sugar
·         Combine the egg whites & sugar in a mixing bowl. Place the bowl over simmering water to 49 C (120C), whipping constantly to avoid cooking the egg whites. Make sure all of the sugar is dissolved.
·         Remove from the heat & whip the mixture at high speed until it is completely cool & has formed stiff peaks.

SOME MERINGUE DESSERTS


1.      Baked Alaska
2.      Blackberry meringue tart lets
3.      Frozen raspberry  mousse with meringue
4.      Rum parfait
5.      Meringue black frost cake
6.      Marjolaine

Tartaric acid- is naturally present in most fruits, but commercial product is extracted from grapes. It has a number of purposes in cooking. Cream of tarter is made from it and it is found in baking powder & ammonium carbonate. When used in sorbets & fruit desserts, it brings out the fruit flavor. It is in expression and lasts for a very long time. Tartaric acid also acts as the catalyst for pectin glaze.



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