High Altitude Baked Meringues

Joined Jun 16, 2015
First, I'd like to say that I'm no stranger to high altitude baking. I've lived up in the mountains, at about 9000 ft., for a few years now so I've experienced how breads are affected by the large change in altitude.

Unfortunately, my main issue now is not breads. Specifically, my boss wants us to start making Brazo de Mercedes, a recipe from the Philippines where she's from. It's similar to a jelly roll cake but the 'cake' is a soft baked meringue.

I'm not too experienced with cakes, but I've made my fair share and even adjusted a few old recipes to work at my current location. This is, however, the first time anyone here at work is trying to work with a recipe like this. The boss herself tried to make it but the results were more or less the same as ours.

She grew up by the sea, which is why we're assuming that the issue is altitude.

The main problem is that the meringue shrinks too much after it's taken out of the oven. Shrinkage is normal according to the boss, but what we make shrinks too much. It should only shrink down to a little over half it's original height. Ours shrinks down to a fourth or a third. Too thin to get that light and fluffy texture she is looking for.

If it was a cake, one of the other bakers would know what to do. But as this is a meringue, nobody here knows how to properly adjust the recipe/baking temp/baking time or if it was some combination of the three.

So I'm hoping someone has a better understanding of baking meringues to help us understand the problem.

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