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French meringue – the recipe from Cooks but good

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French meringues made with the most used and simple basic dough that exists in the pastry world. Delicate and crumbly foams at the right point, composed of only two ingredients: egg white and sugar. Small irresistible sweets to eat in a single bite, perfect as a decoration for cakes, spoon desserts, to be covered with chocolate or to be served at the end of the meal as a small indulgence, to create desserts such as Pavlova and giant spumoni.
There are various types of this delicious dessert: French, Italian and Swiss meringue. But the most popular is certainly the French one which does not involve cooking but only cold processing. The Italian one, unlike the French one, involves cooking sugar which makes the meringue more stable and dense. Swiss meringue, on the other hand, involves cooking the egg white, thus eliminating the dangers of salmonella and making it more stable.
Meringues are very simple to make, just follow some small precautions during preparation and, thanks to our advice, you will obtain white, dry and crumbly clouds.
This preparation is as simple as it takes a long time to cook, but don't be intimidated. Once the mixture is made, the oven will do its job. They can be stored for a long time, even for 2 months, so you can prepare them, store them in boxes and also serve them as delicious snacks for children.
In any case, with just two ingredients you will have a simple recipe to taste and serve on a thousand occasions. And for those who want to add a touch of color, a pinch of food coloring will be enough to make this dessert more fun. Meringues are also a sweet gift to prepare with your own hands, to be embellished with colored sprinkles or chocolate, and ideal for Christmas.

RECIPE

Total time 2 ore 5 minutes
  • 100 g egg whites at room temperature about 3 eggs
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g powdered sugar sieved
  • 3 lemon drops

Before we begin

  • Use fresh eggs at room temperature, it will be much easier to whip them.Make sure there are no traces of yolk in the egg whites otherwise it will be impossible to whip them.Whip the egg whites in a steel or glass bowl.It is not essential, but it would be better to have a planetary mixer. Bowl and whisk must be completely clean and dry.

Procedure

  • In a planetary mixer or with an electric whisk, whip the egg whites, initially at medium speed, until bubbles form on the bottom. One of the secrets is to incorporate air, gradually increasing the speed.

  • Increase the speed to maximum and whisk until the egg whites are white and their volume has tripled. It is not enough that they are mounted stiffly, they must be very solid.

  • With the whisk moving, gradually add the granulated sugar. Continue mixing until the mixture is well-bodied.

  • Add 3-4 drops of lemon, which will help stabilize the mixture and remain white during cooking.

  • Once you have obtained a solid meringue, add the sifted icing sugar little by little, always keeping the whisk moving but at a low speed. The mixture should not deflate. Alternatively, use a spatula or a whisk and proceed manually, mixing from bottom to top. Continue until the icing sugar is completely absorbed. You should obtain a light, firm, well-whipped, smooth mixture without grains of sugar.

  • Transfer the dough into a piping bag with a star nozzle and, while forming the meringues, preheat the oven in static mode at 90°C.

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper: score the corners of the sheet with a little mixture, turn it over and fix it adherently to the tray. This way it won't move while you are working.

  • Form many tufts with a diameter of 2-3 cm and the shape you prefer, trying to maintain the same size for uniform cooking. It doesn't matter that they are too far apart, the meringue doesn't rise. In reality there is no cooking but drying.

  • Bake at 90°C in static mode on the central level for about 1 hour and 50 minutes. If you want to make them larger, cooking times will be longer. Once finished, turn off the oven and let them cool with the door open.

  • To understand if they are cooked, just take one, making sure it does not resist the baking paper. It should come off easily, otherwise continue cooking for another 5 minutes. It is important that the meringues are well cooked and dry on the inside too. At the end of cooking they should be crumbly but not fragile.

The amount of sugar in the meringue can vary depending on the result you want to obtain. To have stiff and dense meringues, you will need to use twice the weight of egg whites in sugar (egg whites: sugar 1:2).
Lighter, slightly moist and soft on the inside, then you will use less sugar (egg whites: sugar 1:1).

We advise you to use icing sugar during the second addition to the dough in order to obtain more crumbly meringues and above all to be sure that there are no grains of sugar in the dough.
If you don't have icing sugar, you can put granulated sugar in the mixer and in a few seconds you will get the same consistency.
To obtain colored meringues, just add a pinch of powdered food coloring, possibly at the end of the process. The same rule applies to flavorings (cinnamon, coffee, chocolate).
We do not recommend cooking in ventilated mode as it would compromise the color making them yellowish.
Meringues can be stored in boxes or glass containers with lids for long periods. It is important to keep them cold.
If you don't use all the dough, transfer it into a piping bag with a nozzle, close it tightly and store it in the fridge. This way it won't tend to relax too much and can be used both the same day and the next day.
Plus, meringues are perfect for using up leftover egg whites.
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