Why can't I make a meringue or a meringue meringue? How to fix it
It would seem that there can be no difficulty in whipping whites with sugar and baking a dessert in the oven. But, in practice, hostesses encounter many problems. In order to avoid blunders in the future, you need to do work on mistakes, to take advantage of the advice of professional pastry chefs.
- Mistakes in the preparation of meringue
- Improperly selected and dirty utensils
- Poor quality sugar
- Unsuitable eggs
- Whipping technique violated
- Wrong recipe selected
- Temperature control not followed
- Temperature fluctuations during cooling
- Error correction
- Sugar not completely dissolved
- Protein is not beaten
- Meringue smells like eggs
- Protein foam stinks
- No crispy crust
- Cries in the oven
- Meringue darkens in the oven
- Dessert does not bake inside
- Takes too long to dry
- Sticks to your hands
- Deforms on the cake
To get strong cakes that hold their shape, you need to choose the right tools for work, quality products. It is important to strictly follow the recipe in terms of the proportions of ingredients, cooking steps.
Improperly selected and dirty utensils
Use a glass or metal container with a round bottom, so that undissolved sugar and unwhipped protein do not accumulate in the corners.
The dishes should be perfectly clean and dry. In order to degrease it, wipe it after washing with vinegar, wipe it dry with a napkin.
Poor quality sugar
Buy sugar that is fine-crystalline, pure, without any extraneous impurities, or use powdered sugar. Grind coarsely ground sand in a coffee grinder. Cakes made with coarse fractions are crispy on the teeth.
When making meringue, take twice as much sugar as the liquid ingredient.
For meringues, choose eggs that are a week old. They are less watery and whip better. If the product is frozen, the amount of moisture in it increases. Get a stable protein foam from such a product can be obtained by adding a little starch.
Pour the whites separated from the yolks into a separate bowl and then into a common bowl. Getting the slightest drop of fat will negate all efforts.
Whipping technique violated
Foam is formed due to the saturation of the protein mass with air bubbles, which are evenly distributed throughout the volume. This is possible by gradually increasing the mixer speed from minimum to medium. Whipping at maximum speed destroys the structure of the meringue and results in large bubbles instead of small bubbles.
As soon as the sweet mass reaches the desired thickness, turn off the mixer. Over-whipped meringue stratifies, falls off.
Selected a recipe that didn't work
Use recipes from trusted sources or cookbooks. There are three types of meringue, and different mistakes are made in making each one:
- Swiss meringue is made in a water bath. All the sugar is immediately combined with the whites, stirring while heating, making sure that the water temperature does not exceed 65°C. The bottom of the container should not touch the water, otherwise there is an increased risk of overheating, curdling whites.
- The French recipe calls for whisking the whites into a foam, gradually adding powdered sugar in batches. If the sweet ingredient is introduced into the meringue at once in its entirety, it will settle.
- The Italian version first prepares the sugar syrup. In a separate bowl, whisk the whites and sugar until soft peaks are formed. Then, without stopping the whipping, in a thin stream, boil the whites, directing it to the whisk. If the syrup is poured into the mixture at once, the foam will curdle and fall off.
Failure to follow the temperature regime
Drop the meringues in any convenient way on a baking tray lined with oiled parchment or a silicone mat.
Preheat the oven to 90-100 degrees. Place the baking tray on the middle level and dry the dessert for 1-6 hours, depending on the size of the cakes.
The meringue won't work if the tray with the contents is placed in a cold oven.
Temperature differential as it cools.
Pastry chefs advise against opening the door during baking and removing the meringue from the oven immediately after drying, lest it lose its shape.
When the cooking time is up, open the door slightly and wait for the cakes to cool completely. Then transfer the cakes to a food container, close with the lid, and store on the cabinet shelf at room temperature. The refrigerator is not suitable for preserving because of the high humidity in the chamber.
To avoid problems with meringue in the future, you need to analyze your shortcomings and understand how to act in practice.
Sugar not completely dissolved
The correction of the error in this case depends on the recipe of preparation. If the meringue is Swiss, measure the temperature of the water in the bath. It may not be high enough to dissolve the sweet ingredient.
Pouring the syrup onto the walls of the foam cooker when cooking with the Italian recipe causes the sugar to caramelize quickly. Add the sugar solution to the mixer whisk.
With the French version of cooking, use powdered sugar, add it not at once, but one teaspoon at a time.
Protein will not whip.
Be sure to degrease the dishes before working. If you cook the dessert in a water bath, make sure that no boiling water gets into the mixture and the water temperature does not exceed 70°C.
Use a mixer to get a dense, stable foam. Whipping with a whisk by hand requires a lot of force.
Meringue smells like eggs.
The cooking technique has nothing to do with it. It's all about the eggs, namely the diet of the chickens, which is prepared at the poultry farm, on the farm or in a private backyard. Birds can be given brightly smelling feed, vitamins. Advice one - put a couple of drops of flavoring agent in the foam and do not buy more product from this manufacturer.
More often such a problem occurs in those who buy homemade eggs, pasteurized, in brown shells or use dried albumin.
Protein foam falls off.
If the foam is unstable, it means that the proteins and sugar are under- or over-beaten. The peaks become stable if the ingredients and small air bubbles are evenly distributed in them.
No crispy crust
There wasn't enough sugar to form a crust or the cakes are too large. Continue drying the meringue by increasing the oven temperature by 20 degrees.
Crying while baking
There are three reasons for the release of droplets of syrup on the surface. The first - failure to comply with the proportions of the ingredients, the second - lumpy, coarse grinding of sugar, the third - cooled protein.
To avoid repeating mistakes in the future, whip powdered sugar in small portions, adding it to the warm whites.
The meringue has gone dark in the oven
Check the drying temperature of the meringue with a digital or analog thermometer. Cakes will darken if cooked in high heat.
The inside of the dessert is not baked
If the inside structure of the dessert resembles chewing gum, then the top layer has dried out. To adjust the temperature, place the baking tray on the center level and turn on the convection.
A rubbery middle may result from not whipping long enough. The next time you make a meringue, run the mixer a couple of minutes longer.
Takes a long time to dry.
Problems with drying - causes and remedies:
- Failure to follow the proportions of the ingredients. Take 1 part protein and 2 parts sugar.
- Sugar added immediately. Whisk the whites to soft peaks first.
- Using cold whites. Heated to room temperature are more stable in froth.
- Low-powered mixer. Use an appliance with 550 watts or more.
- Any grease in the bowl. Treat it with vinegar, lemon juice or alcohol.
It takes a long time to dry meringue that has been deposited in a thick layer. It needs more time to dry.
Sticks to your hands
The dessert becomes sticky if the humidity in the room is high, if fresh or frozen eggs are used, or if not enough sugar is added.
The crust does not have time to harden if the cakes are taken out of the oven ahead of time.
Deforms on the cake.
Meringue melts at high humidity. You should not decorate a cake covered with cream on water, set it next to slices of juicy fruit. When stored in the refrigerator, the meringue loses its shape from condensation.
To avoid such a mistake next time, use a buttery coating, ganache, under the decoration. Decorate the cake just before serving, coat the surface of the meringue with waterproof pastry varnish.
A crummy dessert can fall off, become sticky, dark, cry or stay raw. But, if you work through all the possible mistakes, the cooking process will be a pleasant pastime waiting for family and friends to react to the flawless meringue.
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