How to make the perfect meringues!
I enjoy making meringues because you can do so many different shapes, add some flavors, some colors.
However, I’m honestly not the one who is going to eat them as it is, I need to incorporate the meringue in a dessert to have a good balance of sweet and sour. Lemon meringue pie, Pavlova, Eton mess… You name it! I actually just did a mason jar dessert where matcha meringues were one of the items I used.
It’s also a great way to garnish desserts : candy canes or trees for X-Mas, hearts for Valentine’s Day, ghosts for Halloween…
Now, let me give you a few tricks to make the perfect meringues :
There are different ways of adding flavors in a meringue.
You can use some liquid extracts (vanilla, coffee, orange blossom syrup…), right after you added the icing sugar, just a few drops that you incorporate gently with a spatula.
Sift some unsweetened cocoa powder in the meringue, again, after you added the icing sugar, incorporate it gently with a spatula.
Sprinkle powders, sliced almonds, cocoa nibs, shredded coconut…
Use food coloring by adding a few drops in the meringue when you add the last third of granulated sugar. You can also color some shredded coconut and sprinkle it on top of the meringue after piping for instance.
If you’re looking for natural alternatives, incorporate cocoa powder in the meringue, sprinkle with fruit powder or matcha…
I think french meringue is one of the best way to practice piping because of its texture. You can play around with different tips, do round shapes, straight lines, stars, S-shapes…
Don’t forget to stick the parchment paper to the baking sheet with a small drop of meringue in the corners. You don’t want the parchment paper to move when you’re piping, plus, if you have an oven with a strong fan, it will prevent the meringues to fly away during baking as they are pretty light.
Meringues need to be baked at a very low temperature, you want them to dry and stay white. I would rather recommend baking them at a lower temperature for a longer time than the other way around.
When it comes to storage, you can use any type of hermetic container, my favorite being glass jars because it makes a nice home decor!
If you want to garnish a dessert with your meringues, add them at the last minute to keep their crunch.
How to make the perfect meringues!
- 3 egg whites 90 g
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar 90 g
- ¾ cup icing sugar 90 g – sifted
- matcha powder, coffee extract, cocoa powder… for flavoring and garnishing
In a stand-up mixer, beat the egg whites with the whisk on high speed until it gets foamy. Add about one third of the granulated sugar and keep mixing on high speed for one more minute. Add the second third of the sugar. Mix for about 5 more minutes, add the rest of the sugar and mix for about 30 seconds, to stiffen the meringue.
Add the sifted icing sugar in two times, using a spatula, doing a gentle up and down movement. The meringue is going to get a bit softer, but still stiff enough to be easily piped.
Preheat the oven up to 180°F.
Fill out a piping bag with the tip of your choice and pipe the meringues on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper – don’t forget to stick it to the sheet with small drops of meringue so it doesn’t move when you pipe.
Sprinkle with cocoa powder, matcha powder – with a sifter, shredded coconut…
And dry in the oven for about 2 hours at 180°F.
Check if the meringues are completely dried by simply removing them from the parchment, if they don’t stick to the paper and are dry to the touch, you’re good.
What I usually do is that I turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven overnight. I put them in a container or a jar the next day. You can keep the meringues for a couple of weeks to a month on your kitchen counter. If you want to add them on a dessert, do it last minute so that they keep their crunch!