Meringue - a fragile, tender and melting in your mouth dessert, invented by the French. From French, meringue is translated as “kiss” - it is as sweet and delicate. Despite the fact that there are few ingredients in the meringue, it is quite difficult to prepare it, especially for beginners. Meringue is a very capricious dessert, so in order to cook it, you need to know some tricks and techniques, for example, at what temperature should it be baked.
Time and temperature of baking meringue
Meringue, as mentioned above, is a crunchy cake, and it is made from meringue - whipped egg yolks with sugar. There are three types of meringue, which differ in the way of beating proteins with sugar:
The first method of making protein cream is the simplest - whipping proteins with sugar without heat treatment. Beginners are encouraged to prepare the meringue in this way.
The Swiss meringue is more stable than the French, and is prepared on a steam bath.
For the preparation of Italian meringue, sugar syrup is used, which is injected in a thin stream into beaten proteins. This protein cream is the most persistent and most time-consuming to prepare.
Whatever meringue you would cook, you need to dry (and not bake!) In the oven for some time at the right temperature so that the meringue turns white and dry. It is recommended to dry the meringue in the oven at a temperature of 100 to 120 degrees. A higher temperature will turn the sugar present in the protein cream into caramel. As for the time of baking meringue in the oven, it can be either 1 hour or 4 hours, since it depends on the size of the cake. The meringue should be dried until it becomes crispy on the outside and inside. You can check the readiness of this dessert as follows: if the meringue easily moves away from the pan, then it is ready. You can cook meringue in both electric and gas stoves. The advantages of the first is that it is easy to set the desired temperature. With the gas stove is more difficult, because it is difficult to maintain the required temperature. When drying the meringues in a gas oven, experienced housewives are advised to set the minimum temperature and place a bowl with water on its bottom. In addition, they recommend to set the baking sheet with the cake on the uppermost level and keep the oven slightly ajar. Some cooks even open the gas oven door completely.
The subtleties of cooking meringue
- For the preparation of white crispy meringue it is important to respect the proportions of sugar and egg whites. For 1 part of the protein must be exactly 2 parts of granulated sugar.
- The separation of yolks from proteins should be carried out when the eggs are cold. Then the proteins should stand at room temperature for half an hour under the cling film.
- Proteins will be whipped up to a cool foam, if you use a dry and clean container for whipping.
- First whip the whites at low speeds and then gradually increase the power of the mixer.
- Sugar in proteins should be added 1 tablespoon at an equal period of time - 3-4 seconds after beating the previous portion of sugar. Please note that after whipping in the creamy cream there should not be a grain of granulated sugar - it should completely dissolve.
- Culinary experts use tartar for the stability of protein cream. If it is not available, you can add a few stones of lemon juice to the meringue.
- During the first hour of drying the meringues, it is not recommended to open the oven, because cakes may lose their shape and become covered with cracks. If you have a gas oven, follow the instructions above.
- Place the meringue on a baking tray covered with parchment or a silicone mat at some distance from each other.
- After cooking, the cakes do not need to be immediately removed from the oven. It is best to leave them in the oven until they are completely cooled. Some cooks leave the meringues in the oven off overnight.
Store the finished meringues in an airtight container at room temperature — a refrigerator is not suitable for this.