Every good baker knows that a meringue can either make or break a dessert. Our friends at Cooking Light are showing us how to make the perfect meringue, every time. Once you have down a great meringue, the possibilities are endless. Try it as a topping on sweet Lemon Meringue Pie, or in bite-size, peppermint cookie form.
A good meringue can make a dessert, a bad one well who wants that? Here are my top five tips for making the perfect meringue. First, meringue is made of egg whites, cream of tartar, and granulated sugar. How they;re combined dictates how they're used. A French meringue is made with raw egg whites, and usually placed on hot pie fillings and then under the oven's broiler to cook them from the top and the bottom. An Italian meringue is made by pouring a boiling hot sugar syrup into the whipping egg whites. And a Swiss meringue is made by gently heating egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a double boiler, and then whipped into fluffy goodness. The egg whites need to be at room temperature. They also shouldn't contain any of the sunny yellow egg yolk. The fat in the yolk will sabotage the meringue preventing the whites from whipping into billowy clouds. Make sure your bowl and beaters are also perfectly clean and free of leftover oils and fat. That too can prevent meringue from reaching it's full capacity. Once you got egg whites in a clean mixing bowl begin mixing on medium-low speed. The lower speed helps begin building bubbles. These bubbles will gradually increase in number and volume. Then increase the speed to high which will create smaller bubbles that will be stronger. That way they'll be better able to withstand expansion in the oven or being folded into batter. The other two ingredients in a meringue, sugar and cream of tartar, perform different functions. Sugar helps provide structure and flavor to the meringue. Cream of tartar, an acid, strengthens the bubbles, helping them expand and not collapse. Finally if your recipe calls for adding vanilla extract, add it after the meringue is fully whipped. Adding it too soon could limit the meringues volume. Follow these tips and you'll get the perfect meringue every time. [MUSIC]