Types of meringue you should know


There three types of meringue: Italian, Swiss, and French. Italian version is glossy and stable, Swiss version is perfect for frostings, and French version is the simplest. These sweet treats add a touch of elegance to a variety of desserts.

What is meringue?

Meringue is a mixture of beaten egg whites and sugar that is used in many desserts including pies, tarts, and cakes. It is a light and fluffy mixture that can be cooked to create a variety of textures, from soft and pillowy to crispy and crunchy.

To make it, egg whites and sugar are beatened together until it forms stiff peaks. It is necessary to distinguish between the foamy stage, soft peak, and stiff peak (images below) to whipp egg whites properly. Meringue can be flavored with vanilla extract or other extracts and can also be tinted with food coloring.

meringue-frosting-soft-peak
soft peak meringue frosting
meringue-frosting-stiff-peak
Stiff peak meringue frosting

Bakers can use meringue to make desserts like macarons, pavlovas or as a topping in lemon pie recipe. It can also be used to create decorative shapes, such as swirled peaks or piped flowers, and can be baked or torched to create a crisp outer shell.

There are three main types of meringue: French, Swiss, and Italian. These differ in the way of pasteurization but are the same in meringue frosting method. French meringue is the simplest type, made by whipping egg whites with sugar until stiff peaks form. Swiss version is made by heating egg whites and sugar over a double boiler before whipping. Italian meringue involves whisking egg whites and pouring in a hot sugar syrup to create a smooth and silky texture.

French meringue

Simply whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks. Then, slowly add granulated sugar until the mixture becomes glossy and smooth; that’s done for French meringue frosting. Unlike other types of meringue, French meringue is not heated during the mixing process for pasteurization. Therefore, it’s perfect as a base for baked desserts but not for decoration.

The amount of sugar used in a meringue can greatly impact its stability and texture. Typically, the lowest sugar ratio used is a 1:1 ratio of egg white to sugar by weight. The higher the ratio of sugar to egg whites, the more stable the meringue become, though it is also sweeter. Higher ratio of sugar also results in a crispier texture rather than the soft and tender texture typically associated with lower sugar ratios.

french-meringue-frosting

French meringue frosting

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Perfect as a base for baked desserts such as macarons, palvolas or crispy cookies.

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites, around 70g (2.5oz)
  • A pinch of cream of tartar or several drops of lemon juice (optional)
  • 140g (3/4 cup) sugar

Instructions

    1. Separate egg whites from yolks. If eggs are preserved in the
      fridge before use, let the whites rest for at least 15 minutes to reach room
      temperature.
    2. Prepare a clean and dry bowl (with no water left) and pour
      the egg whites into it together with cream of tartar/lemon juice (optional). Whip the egg whites evenly and in only one direction
      (clockwise or counterclockwise) on low speed until soft peaks start to form.
    3. Gradually add granulated sugar until the mixture becomes
      glossy and smooth and forms stiff peaks.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Swiss meringue

Swiss meringue is made by whisking egg whites and sugar together over a double boiler until the sugar has completely dissolved, and the mixture is warm to the touch. The mixture is then whipped until it becomes thick and glossy. Swiss meringue is often used as a base for Swiss meringue buttercream frosting or as a topping for pies and tarts.

swiss-meringue-frosting

Swiss meringue frosting

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Swiss meringue is often used as a base for Swiss meringue buttercream frosting or as a topping for pies and tarts.

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites, around 70g (2.5oz)
  • A pinch of cream of tartar or several drops of lemon juice
  • 140g (3/4 cup) sugar

Instructions

  1. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. If the eggs have been stored in the fridge, let the whites rest for at least 15 minutes to reach room temperature.
  2. Prepare a clean and dry double boiler or place a bowl on top of a pot, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the bottom of the pot. Pour the egg whites, cream of tartar/lemon juice (optional) and sugar into the double boiler or bowl.
  3. Heat the mixture of egg whites and sugar over low heat. Beat it gently using a whisk until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture reaches a temperature of 140-160°F (60-70°C) for pasteurization.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and whip it using a hand mixer or stand mixer until it forms stiff peaks.



Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Italian meringue

Italian meringue is made by beating egg whites until they form stiff peaks, while pouring in hot sugar syrup at 245°F (118°C). To prepare the syrup, boil sugar and water together until it reaches a temperature of 245°F (118°C). Then, slowly add hot sugar syrup into the foamy egg whites in a steady stream, while continuing to whisk until the mixture becomes thick, glossy, and forms stiff peaks. It is often used in recipes for desserts such as mousses, soufflés, and baked Alaska.

italian-meringue-frosting

Italian meringue

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Italian meringue is often used in recipes for desserts such as mousses, soufflés, and baked Alaska.

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites, around 70g (2.5oz)
  • A pinch of cream of tartar or several drops of lemon juice
  • 140g (3/4 cup) sugar

Instructions

  1. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. If the eggs have been refrigerated, rest the whites for at least 15 minutes to bring them to room temperature.
  2. Prepare a clean and dry bowl, making sure that there is no water left in it, and pour the egg whites and cream of tartar/lemon juice (optional) into it.
  3. In a saucepan, start boiling the sugar with water over low heat until it reaches 245°F (118°C).
  4. Whip the egg whites at high speed until they become foamy, like beer foam.
    While still whipping, slowly and steadily pour the boiled syrup into the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed and the mixture becomes glossy, thick and smooth.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

meringue-frosting-foamy
Foamy egg whites

Each type of meringue has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, depending on the type of dessert you want to make, choose the appropriate type of meringue!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to Recipe