Meringue is a sweet dessert that consists of stiffly beaten egg whites, sugar, and occasionally cream of tartar. Meringue is used in many different desserts and can be found in pies and tarts. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about making meringue with a hand mixer.
How to make meringue with a hand mixer
Meringue is a fluffy, crisp topping for pavlova and other desserts. It can also be used to make meringue cookies or pie filling, as well as to decorate cakes. Meringue is made with beaten egg whites, sugar, and flavorings such as vanilla or lemon zest. The key to making a perfect meringue is starting with very fresh eggs mixed with cream of tartar and beat them until they’re stiff enough to hold their shape on the whisk (or beater) when you lift it.
To do this using a hand mixer:
- Place 1 egg white for every 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a large copper bowl if you’re going old school).
- You can also add some vanilla extract as well.
- Mix the meringue starting at low speed until it begins to foam slightly; this will take around 3–4 minutes.
- Gradually add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar at a time until the meringue gets to the right consistency.
- Once you get some more foam going, increase speed over the next few minutes while adding sugar.
- Continue beating until it forms an upside-down peak when you scoop it up with the mixer paddle. Your meringue should also be glossy at this point.
How to make meringue soft or stiff
The secret to making meringue soft or stiff is in the amount of sugar you add during the mixing phase.
If you want your meringue soft, try adding just the right amount of sugar until it reaches a consistent foamy and glossy texture.
If you want your meringue stiff, then add sugar until it becomes stiffer. The amount of sugar you add in addition to its completion is really up to you. Keep mixing and keep adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar until you get the right consistency.
What are the key ingredients for making meringue with a hand mixer?
The key ingredients for making meringue with a hand mixer are egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar (which helps stabilize the meringue)
Other optional additive ingredients include vanilla and salt (to enhance flavor), corn syrup or honey (for thickening), lemon juice or vinegar (to help stabilize the foam), citrus zest (for fragrance and color), almond extract or other flavoring agents like cocoa powder and coconut milk.
What are some common flavorings for meringue when making meringue with a hand mixer?
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
- Lemon juice
- Orange juice
- Lemon zest
- Orange zest
- Cinnamon powder
- Cardamom powder
- Cocoa powder
- Maple syrup
How do you know when the meringue is ready when making meringue with a hand mixer?
The meringue is ready when it looks glossy and stiff (according to your liking).
If you can lift the whisk out of the bowl and the peaks form a little bit of a peak, then it’s ready.
If you pick up some of the meringue onto your fingers and rub them together, you shouldn’t feel any grainy sugar residue.
You can also take a big spoonful of the mixture and drop it back into your bowl, then watch how it falls onto itself. If you see that it forms little peaks when it falls back down, then your meringue is ready.
If your meringue isn’t ready yet, here are some things that might be going wrong:
Your egg whites aren’t whipped enough or they’re too warm
you’ll need to whip them longer until they’re stiffer (this will take about 2-3 minutes).
There might not have been enough sugar added to make sure all sugar crystals were dissolved
Add more sugar one tablespoon at a time until all crystals dissolve before whipping again for another minute or two.
How long does it take to make a meringue with a hand mixer?
It depends. The size of your bowl, the number of egg whites, and how fast you’re mixing all factor into how long it takes to make meringue. If you want to do the math yourself, keep these variables in mind:
- Egg whites (their temperature)
- Bowl size
- Mixer speed
Normally it would take about 5 minutes to make meringue with a hand mixer. If you can feel the sugar grains in the meringue, then continue mixing for a few extra minutes.
Can you over-whip meringue?
Once the egg whites start to form stiff peaks, you want to take the mixer off of its highest speed and continue beating them until they are at the desired consistency.
Over whipping will break the protein matrix of the egg white and cause it to lose its structure over time. If you over-whip your meringue, it will become grainy and watery.
What is the best way to store meringue when making meringue with a hand mixer?
You have many options for storing your meringue.
You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge, or you can freeze it for a few hours, days, or about 1 week.
You can even keep it frozen for months on end! Frozen meringues can be stored for up to three months. You may want to thaw them before serving them.
The best place to store your meringue is in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.
One thing I recommend is to place your meringue into a container but also put a layer of parchment paper underneath that so you won’t have a hard time trying to remove it when taking it out of the refrigerator.
How long does meringue last when making meringue with a hand mixer?
Meringue can last for about one day if not left inside the fridge. if you put your meringue in the fridge, it can last up to a week. But if you put it in the freezer, it can last up to a month.
Make sure wherever you put it, that you place it inside an airtight container.
How do I beat eggs for meringue?
I always recommend that you start low and increase the speed until you see changes in the consistency of the meringue. While you’re adding sugar, the speed of your hand mixer should be medium-high.
During your mixing, you’re going to start seeing the consistency change. You begin seeing the eggs turning into foam. At this point, you’ll know you’re doing it right.
What are some common mistakes people make when making meringue with a hand mixer?
- Over-beating your meringue.
- Not beating the egg whites to soft peaks, as opposed to stiff peaks.
- Not beating them for the right amount of time (for instance, not enough time results in a fragile meringue).
- Not beating them to the right consistency (some people like a very stiff meringue; others prefer something with more flexibility).
- Not getting the temperature of your egg whites right before you beat them so that they can be beaten properly. For example, if they are too cold or too warm, then they will not separate properly nor reach their full volume potential even if you follow all other instructions correctly.
Can I hand whisk meringue?
You can hand whisk meringue.
- The advantage of the stand mixer is that it’s easier to get the whisk attachment at the right angle and exert pressure on the bowl, which makes for a smoother, more efficient whipping process.
- A hand mixer will also whip your meringue in about half the time of using a standard manual whisk. It’s worth noting that you’ll have to stop every so often to scrape down any stuck-on egg mixture with a spatula or something similar. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with lumps in your finished product.
- An electric beater is faster, but also messier! You’ll probably want to use parchment paper or plastic wrap under your mixing bowl if possible (that way when you need to scrape down any lumps at certain intervals).
The last thing you need to remember is that meringue is not just for baking. It can be used as a topping on desserts, as a filling for pies or tarts, and even just on its own as a delicious treat!
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