help with italian meringue...

9
10
Joined Oct 30, 2008
I'm doing everything by the book (although lacking the presence of a sugar thermometer...) - Sugar and water to soft ball stage (118 C), adding the syrup in a slow stream between the whip and the bowl, once eggs have quadrupled in volume, whip till cold.
When doing this at school, we'd keep on whipping until cold and get a nice smooth meringue. At home I seem to get lumpy foam as a sorry excuse for meringue... :(

What am I doing wrong??

Thanks :)
 
3,599
46
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Do you really heat till it's soft ball stage? You may not know what it looks like if you've always used a thermometer.  I never use a thermometer, but it took a while to learn it.  You have to get some cold water ready and then drop the syrup in - it will flatten out or dissolve if not hot enough.  At the soft ball stage it should be clearly a lump, even if flattened, and you should be able to pick it up and play with it between your fingers like clay..  

The other thing that might be wrong is that you need to whip the egg whites first so that they';re fully whipped and form stable peaks, and only then start pouring in the syrup.  This isn;t clear from your description.  Maybe at work you have a stronger beater and don;t have to do that, but at home you do.  If you didn;t, then the syrup would hit the egg whites and cook them in the points where it falls, making lumps, and the rest would just foam a little. 
 
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