My meringues always end up flat, brown and chewy. Any ideas why?

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by tiemu, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. tiemu

    tiemu

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    I've tried several different recipes for Pavlovas and meringues from reputable cookbooks, but they always end up this way. What is the most likely reason for this?

    - Their texture when going into the oven looks the same as foamed shampoo/bubble bath, no matter how much I whisk it (by hand). But on TV, the whipped egg whites look more like a bright white whipped cream. I wish I knew what the texture should look and feel like.

    - I beat them in a ceramic bowl. I know they say to use metal, but does this actually matter?

    - The bowl is dry and has been cleaned with regular dishwashing liquid. I doubt there's any grease in it.

    - I'm not very good at cracking eggs, so the egg whites aren't 100% clear (there could be a speck of yellow, or white in it). Does this actually matter?

    When I look in the oven they fall flat and brown pretty fast.
     
  2. brandon odell

    brandon odell

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    Yes. All that matters. You can't skip details in a recipe and expect the recipe to turn out. Follow the recipe and try a hand mixer or Hobart/Kitchen aid automatic mixer that can go faster and longer than you can by hand.

    A meringue needs to already be stiff when it goes on a pie.
     
  3. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Perhaps the addition of confectioner's sugar to the egg whites would help the meringue hold its shape.
     
  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    This...

    plus a bit of Cream of Tartar as a stabilizer.  The browning is overbaking.