Classic French meringues recipe
- Dish type
This is a basic recipe for French meringue to which you can add flavourings of your choice: cocoa, rose water, matcha powder or food colouring.
9 people made this
IngredientsMakes: 30 meringues
- 2 egg whites
- 75g caster sugar
- 75g icing sugar
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr10min
- Preheat the oven to 100 C / Gas 1/4 or your lowest possible oven setting. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Beat the egg whites till foamy, then start adding 75g caster sugar and continue beating until they stand in peaks. Add the icing sugar and continue beating until very stiff and shiny.
- Place small spoonfuls on the prepared baking tray and bake until firm, about 1 hour.
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- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together egg whites and salt on high speed until glossy peaks form. With mixer running, add sugar in three additions, beating until meringue is stiff and glossy. Sprinkle in cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla gently fold to combine. Sift cocoa over meringue gently fold so that streaks of cocoa remain.
Using a 1/2-cup ice cream scoop, drop 6 balls of meringue onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 3 inches apart. Bake until puffed and slightly cracked, 30 minutes. Turn off oven and let meringues stand at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Baking with the French Tarte
Once you become comfortable with the classic base recipes of pastry, you'll be on your way to creating all sorts of delectable treats. For starters just think of the ways you can use your favorite tart dough baked with your favorite seasonal fruits in either an almond cream or custard filling. Mix and match as you wish!
I'll continue to add recipes over time, allowing you to expand your base and have more and more fun in the kitchen. Just check back periodically, and I'll send an update every now and then via my blog. Thanks and have fun!
In all recipes, unless otherwise noted, flour is all purpose, sugar is granulated cane, eggs are large, butter is unsalted and milk is whole milk.
Click on the links to go to specific recipes in downloadable PDF format and, in some cases, to blog posts about the topic.
Pâte brisée/flaky tart dough recipe and blog post
Pâte brisée/flaky tart dough, oat whole wheat version recipe and blog post
Pâte sucrée d'amandes/almond tart dough recipe
Pâte sucrée/sweet tart dough (for rustic galette) recipe and blog post
Pâte sucrée au chocolat/chocolate tart dough recipe
Sablé Breton/Breton shortbread/tart dough recipe and blog post / blog post
Pâte à choux/gougère recipe and blog post plus another post on a filled sweet version of choux
Pâte à croissant/croissant dough recipe, croissant comparison blog post and whole wheat croissant blog post
Basic bun and Danish dough recipe and blog post
Pâte à brioche/brioche dough recipe (includes tips for creating laminated brioche)
Pâte feuilletée classique/classic puff pastry recipe
Pâte feuilletée rapide/quick or “rough” puff pastry recipe
Kouign-amann/Breton butter “cake” recipe
LES CRÈMES et LES GARNITURES
Crème d'amandes/almond cream recipe
Crème pâtissière/pastry cream recipe
L'appareil de flan/custard filling for tarts recipe and blog post
Crème anglaise + bavarois recipe and blog post on charlotte and one more
Classic ice cream base recipe and blog post
Crème au beurre à la meringue suisse/Swiss meringue buttercream recipe and blog post
Sauce caramel classique/classic caramel sauce recipe
Crème de mascarpone fouettée/whipped mascarpone cream recipe
LES MERINGUES ET LES GATEAUX
Dacquoise recipe and blog post (chocolate hazelnut marjolaine) and post (pistachio raspberry dacquoise) and one more post
TEA CAKES, SCONES, BISCUIT
Financier/browned butter almond cake recipe and blog post
Classic lemon cream scones (with cheddar variation) recipe and blog post on cheddar scones
Biscuit à la cuiller/ladyfinger sponge recipe and blog post on charlotte plus one more
Madeleine/shell shaped tea cakes recipe and blog post on a chocolate version
Should the eggs be cold or at room temperature for meringue?
We recommend you use cold eggs when you have to separate the yolks from the whites. However, the egg whites should be at room temperature when preparing the meringue batter.
This is because cold egg whites don&apost whip as fast and fluffy as warm ones. Also, you can incorporate the honey better if the eggs are at room temperature.
To bring your egg whites to room temperature, you can either leave them on your kitchen top for 30-40 minutes or place the egg bowl into another bowl filled with lukewarm water and leave it to warm up for 5-10 minutes.
1: Egg whites must be room temperature.
2: If your electric whisk doesn’t allow you to set a low speed, it won’t do. I use the whisk attachment of my stick blender (U.S. option HERE), starting on minimum and increasing when it’s time to. Many electric whisks – the types with 2 rotating balloon whisks – are too fast for meringues success. If you start whipping albumen at high speed, too much air gets trapped in the structure and will cause the meringues to deflate.
This is often the cause of sugar-free French meringue failure. It is an unstable mixture anyway, and without real sugar the structure weakens further. If, on top of that, too much air is injected, it is more likely to collapse. Slow speed at the start, medium speed later is what you want. If you have a food processor, great, you can easily adjust the speed as you progress. I don’t own one anymore (hate the poxy things).
3: Incorporating ‘sugar’ at the right time, and gradually, is imperative.
4: Unless you want yellow or brown-ish meringues, do not use alternative sweeteners. They all burn at different rates and at different temperatures (allulose is a definite no for meringues). They also trap moisture variably, so you may end up with wet/sticky meringues, instead of crisp, crumbly ones.
5: Place your oven rack on the lowest level, or your meringues won’t stay white.
6) You will notice that the recipe mentions whipping for seconds at a time, rather than minutes. That’s because by using a powdered sweetener, instead of granulated sugar, you reach the correct meringue consistency a lot faster. Resist the urge to continue whipping beyond the point described in the recipe, or you’ll ruin the structure and your meringues will collapse in the oven. Follow my recipe to a T and you’ll be a happy bunny.
How to Make Meringue (The French Method_
Step 1: Make Superfine Sugar (*optional)
If you do not have access to superfine sugar, or castor sugar, it is best to make your own before utilizing this method. In a food processor process the sugar until it is very fine. This takes about 2 minutes.
This step is not absolutely necessary, but will help prevent any grittiness in your meringue.
Step 2: Measure Your Ingredients
Depending on your final use for this meringue it may or may not be important to actually weigh your ingredients very accurately.
If you are using your meringue as a topping on a pie then the exact ratios for your meringue aren’t really as important as if you were going to fold it into a cake batter or for macarons.
Step 3: Bring the Egg Whites to Room Temperature
Egg whites will whip to their highest and most stable peaks when they are at room temperature or slightly warm, so it is important to give them time. If you are in a rush, you can put un-cracked eggs in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes to take the chill off.
I have also used packaged liquid egg whites to make this foam and they also worked, however because they are pasteurized, I had to beat for much much longer.
Step 4: Begin by Whipping the Egg Whites
Make sure that the bowl you are using is clean and free from oil and place the egg whites in the bowl. You want to begin by whipping on a low speed which will allow the proteins to unravel and begin forming their network to trap the air bubbles.
It is optional, but a pinch of cream of tartar or a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar are often added here. These acidic ingredients, though not absolutely necessary, will lower the ph and in turn strengthen the proteins and create a more stable meringue.
Step 5: Very Slowly Add the Sugar
Once your whites have reached soft peaks, continue mixing on medium speed while adding the sugar in slowly. I add about 1 tablespoon at a time and wait about 15 seconds before the next addition. Not rushing this process is really key to making the mixture stable.
Step 6: Whip to Stiff Peaks
Watch the egg whites carefully and stop beating once you reach stiff peaks. The whites will look glossy and the whites should stand up straight with just a slight bend on the end. See the picture below for how the peaks should look.
If you take the whites too far the gloss will go away and they will start to break down, look dry, and begin separating. If you go this far you need to stop and start over! This is much more difficult to do with the higher ratio of sugar, but it is a little easier to go to far if you are using the 1:1 sugar ratio. The below picture is showing what broken meringue looks like.
Classic French meringues recipe - Recipes
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