Wednesday, July 20, 2016

May Meringue

I have quite a peculiar feeling about / relationship with baking sweets.  There is always that nagging voice in my head asking 'who will eat all that cake?'.  

Funny that voice never questions savory dishes.  I can cook a whole leg of lamb and not feel guilty or worry that it will go to waste.

The thing is, THE THING IS, I don't really like sweets.  I'd put a forkful of cake in my mouth and I can sincerely say that I've had enough.

My husband is pretty much the same.  So the idea of HAVING to eat an entire cake sends shivers down my spine.  TOO HARD.


On the flip side, I love watching baking shows and as I watch I become curious and I want to bake.  I want to learn the techniques, I am curious.  I WANT TO BAKE.  I WANT TO BAKE.


MERINGUE.  Just eggs & sugar.  Lovely.

I decided to try my hand on Italian Meringue and French Meringue. 

For both meringues, I used ratios rather than recipes--only because I have no idea whether the eggs I had on had were 'medium' or 'large'.

They say the Italian Meringue is the most stable of them all, and great for those who worry about eating raw eggs.  So it only made sense that I tried that first.


Ratio in weight is 1 egg white : 1 water : 2.5 caster sugar

Three egg whites weighed 90 grams, this meant that I needed 90 grams of water and 90 x 2.5 grams sugar.

It also required cream of tartar, that I did not have.  However I had some lemon on hand so I just used it as the substitute.  I lined my mixing bowl with lemon juice by squeezing while running 1/8 of a lemon wedge along the inner area of the bowl.

Mix like crazy (thank you mixer, I don't think I will ever do this if I had to do it by hand), in the meantime I heated the sugar and water up to 240F.

Then slowly transfer the sugar syrup to the mixing bowl and continue mixing.

At some point it will become super silky and shiny--about the same time the bowl would no longer feel warm.

Transfer into a piping bag and you are all set.  The GREAT thing about this is that it keeps it shape.  And with egg whites effectively cooked through, no salmonella!  

I piped mine on top of a Calamansi Pie.  My heart can only stand so much sweetness, I was in desperate need of something to cut through all that meringue.

pure white.  simple.  beautiful.
Next was the French Meringue, why?  In my mind, this is the quintessential meringue--probably because in my childhood this was what I had known to be 'meringue'.

there is beauty in diversity


Ratio in weight is 3 egg white : 5 caster sugar

Two egg whites weighed 60 grams, this meant that I needed 100 grams sugar.

Again, no cream of tartar, so the whole lemon thing.

I also added 1/4 teaspoon of Vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon Orange Essence.

And a drop of pink, yellow and red icing colours.  I intentionally left that at the very last minute because I wanted random streaks of colour.

Mix everything till until it can hold its shape, place in a piping bag and go crazy making whatever shape you like.

I baked these in the oven for 1 1/2 hours at 100C.  


There as still so many baking techniques that I need to learn, practice and perfect.  

Not sure when the next blog entry would be, I tend to be super engrossed in the process that I forget to take photos--perfectly understandable when you have your hands covered with flour, eggs and all things that make wishes come true.

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