- Gluten Free
- Lactose Free
- Energy Kcal 257
- Carbohydrates g 61
- of which sugars g 61
- Protein g 3.1
- Sodium mg 329
- Difficulty: Average
- Prep time: 20 min
- Cook time: 4 h
- Cost: Very low
- Note plus the cooling time for the meringues
Compared to French meringue, Italian meringue (also known as cooked meringue) has a more elaborate preparation process, which requires a syrup thermometer. Once the egg whites have been beaten stiffly, slowly add sugar syrup brought to a temperature of 250°F (120°C) (stirring constantly): stop stirring only when the mixture has completely cooled. Italian-style meringue can be used in the same way as French meringue and is perfect for making mousse to top cakes, to be placed a few minutes under a grill to darken, for fruit mousse, for making cassata, parfait, or as a base for buttercreams. The cooking temperature depends on the size of the meringues and the power of the oven, but it generally should never exceed 215° F (100°C).
How to prepare Italian Meringue
To make Italian meringue, pour the water into a heavy-bottomed saucepan 1, add the sugar and cook over low heat 2, stirring to dissolve it. Immerse the food thermometer 3, which will indicate the temperature to be reached, i.e. 250° F (120° C).
When the temperature of the syrup reaches 235° F (114° C), place the egg whites in a stand mixer equipped with a whisk 4 (or use an electric blender) and whip them at medium speed 5. When the syrup has reached 250° F (120° C), lower the speed of the stand mixer (to prevent the syrup from dispersing on the walls of the bowl), pour half of the syrup into the egg whites 6 and then increase the speed again. Wait a few seconds and keep pouring the syrup slowly, without pouring it directly onto the whisk. Continue to whip until the meringue has cooled down completely.
The meringue mixture must be very dense, smooth, and shiny 7 and can only be cooked when it is completely cold. Pour the meringue into a pastry bag 8, choosing the nozzle according to your intended use, and form the meringues by squeezing the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking paper. You can create classic cloud meringues using a wide star-shaped nozzle 9.
You can form the shells by using a star-shaped nozzle 10, swirls by rotating while squeezing the meringue with a smooth nozzle 11. Draw the outline on baking paper with a pencil to make it easier. Bake the meringues in a static oven preheated to 140-160° F (60-70°C) and let them dry for at least 4 hours leaving the oven door slightly ajar, in order to avoid any condensation that would prevent them from drying properly (humidity is a bitter enemy of meringues). Once cooked, turn off the heat and leave the meringues in the oven with the door ajar, and let them cool and dry completely for at least a couple of hours.
Cooked meringues can be stored in airtight containers, or even better a cookie tin, for over a week. Alternatively, they can also be frozen.
Since meringues are cooked for a long time, it is best to prepare them the evening before they are to be served, so that the oven can be turned off once they are cooked and they can dry overnight in the oven with the door ajar.