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Mar 25, 2008 12:14 PM

Help with making Meringue!

Hi, I have a problem with making meringue using the simple recipe of egg whites and sugar. The problem is that while my meringue has “stiff peaks”, it isn’t creamy enough to fold into anything. It’s rigid, stiff, and breaks apart. It’s not creamy enough to fold in things like if I were making a soufflé or cake and it breaks apart like bubbles in a bubblebath. I’m simply adding sugar and eggwhites to a bowl and mixing like crazy. Am I not mixing enough? I’m not sure how mixing it anymore would help as I already achieved my max volume from my egg whites. Extra mixing doesn’t seem to help. Funny thing is, I was able to do it beautifully my 1st time, but have not been able to repeat my success yet.

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  1. You are probably over mixing. If it won't blend in, make a softer meringue, which can be accomplished with less beating. Be sure your egg whites are cold when you mix. You will get better volume with cold egg whites. You can beat to a stiff peak without over beating and getting a dry meringue.

    1. Firstly, I suggest you slowly add the sugar after you beat the egg whites to a good foam. The egg whites should be glossy, sticky to the touch and "creamy" as you describe.

      Secondly, what is your ratio of sugar and egg whites? You'll need about a 1:1 ratio in weight of egg whites and sugar (you may vary that a bit).

      1. I'm not sure if you are doing this by hand or with a mixer, but I always rely on this method:

        1. Are you trying for a MERINGUE or JUST BEATEN WHITES? Unsweeten beaten whites tend to be far easier to fold into souffle and such, while a merinque is a better topping for a pie or part of a cookie...

          I have MUCH better success when I start with JUST the egg whites. Of course there has to be NO yolk and everything has to be very clean as oils make the whites into something more like mayonnaise. No plastic bowl, only glass or metal where you can SEE that there is NO residue on the bowl to start!
          Room temperature eggs work better than cold, also prevent condensation in the bowl from deflating the merinque.
          I measure out SUPERFINE sugar, about a 1/4 cup per egg, and don't start to toss any into the eggs until it is looking like aerosol shaving cream/scrubbing bubbles. When the first half teaspoon hit the whites it will deflate a bit, but you have to keep beating. An electric hand mixer is ideal as a big stand mixture tends to take longer to mix the sugar all around. The superfine sugar dissolves MUCH faster and you have less risk of beating the meringue apart.