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Meringue Mystery

Sometimes when im trying to make a meringue for a recipe (macrons, pavlova, etc) I end up with foamy egg whites with stiff peaks instead of the glossy thick consistency I'm going for. What am I doing wrong?
Leading theories include egg white are too cold and I'm beating everything at too high a speed. Thank you!!

asked by StarryCarly6 about 1 month ago

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2 answers 138 views
Lori Terwilliger
added about 1 month ago

I assume this trouble involves recipes which call for you to beat in the sugar and continue beating until you get the thick glossy consistency. The speed you use can come into play, which should be a medium one. You can watch as you begin beating, and see what size your little bubbles are. If you are seeing a lot of variation, or it's mostly big bubbles, then you slow the speed down. The egg whites themselves do need to be at room temperature to work best, and the fresh your eggs are the better. Adding the sugar in either too early or too late will also cause troubles. You want to be sure you are not adding until you have a soft peak, and then add the sugar in a spoonful at a time, not adding more until the previous addition is dissolved. This is where the speed comes in to play- because if it's too fast, you don't have time for sugar to dissolve before you are at stiff peaks. It's really better to beat slower, and take a little longer for the process. A fast speed may get you to the stiff stage quicker, but the resulting meringue isn't what you were after.

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Stephanie B.
added about 1 month ago

Room temp egg whites definitely help, and fresh eggs are not good for beating into meringue - as in straight from a chicken fresh, anything from a grocery store should be fine. If you don't already, try adding your sugar a little at a time as you beat your egg whites. You should see the meringue getting glossier and glossier as you go.

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