Meringue is an egg and sugar-based preparation that is used to prepare the well-known meringue dessert, as well as to make the topping in different desserts, especially in cakes. Depending on the recipe used, it can be harder or softer, with a crisper or fluffier texture, or it may even have a flavor beyond its own, such as chocolate or coffee. For more information about how to harden meringue to decorate, read this article.
How to harden meringue?
By means of different elements such as syrup or unflavored gelatin, in addition to the larger egg whites, it is possible to achieve a harder consistency. You can prepare Italian meringue, Swiss meringue, etc., but the most difficult thing is to make any of these become a hard meringue to decorate or to eat in small pieces. Thus, it is one of the most difficult to prepare due to the presence of syrup.
French, Swiss or Italian meringue can be made in its hard version, also known as sigh or sighs of meringue, and this is the one that is most used to decorate cakes, due to its consistency. This is characterized by carrying a little syrup, a mixture of melted sugar, which will help the whites to cook, but preventing the meringue from falling. If you want to know how to make hard Italian meringue to decorate, try preparing this recipe:
- 5 egg whites.
- 400 g of sugar.
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Steps to make hard Italian meringue
- Beat the egg whites until stiff and put the oven to preheat at 100 ºC.
- Prepare the syrup in a pot, where you will place the 400 g of sugar with a little water, make sure that it is not too much, but that it covers all the sugar.
- Place it on the stove over medium heat until it dissolves completely. It must reach 118ºC of temperature. You will know that it is perfect if it is in a “soft ball” point. To check it, you can take a small portion with a spoon, wait for it to cool down a bit and make a small ball with your fingers and you will see if it is at this point or if it still needs more time.
- Pour the syrup into the egg mixture in the form of a thread, that is, pouring it little by little and continuing to beat.
- Once you’re done, add the vanilla and mix a little more.
- You can put the meringue in small containers or with a pastry bag make small portions (which will be the so-called meringue sighs used to decorate meringue cakes or roses, depending on the way you give it) on a tray, with a base baking paper. and take it to the oven.
- Bake the meringue for 1 hour between 100 ºC and 120 ºC. At most, you can leave them for 1 hour and a half.
- Take the tray out after an hour, let it cool and you will see that the result is a hard or dry and delicious meringue.
Make hard meringue without oven
If you don’t have an oven to make this dessert, you can use a microwave to cook it and harden it. Follow this microwave hard meringue recipe step by step and you will see that doing it like that is also very easy.
- 1 egg white
- 300 g icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Steps to prepare hard meringue without oven
- In a large bowl add the egg white, the sugar or icing sugar and the teaspoon of cornstarch and stir well until a compact dough or paste is made.
- Take a little of the resulting dough with your hands and knead to give it the shape you want (round, disk …).
- Place a parchment paper or baking paper on a large plate (make sure it fits in the microwave).
- Place each piece of dry or hard meringue on the butter paper, taking care not to touch them.
- Put the plate with the meringues in the microwave, prolonging it at maximum power for 30 seconds.
- Open the microwave and check how each piece has been, surely they still lack a little to be hard and well made. Therefore, put the dish back in the microwave at the same power and for a maximum of 30 more seconds.
- Notice that the dough rises a little and at the end of the microwave time they will have been as you expected: pieces of hard meringue and white in color. Of course, if you want them to have color, you just have to add a few drops of food coloring when mixing the dough.
With these amounts, you can get between 30 and 40 sighs of meringue, depending on the size.
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