Ever had that craving for something sweet and crispy? I sometimes look for something different from the usual cakes, brownies, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, etc.
One afternoon, my mom went home with these colorful candies that look like flowers. I tried one and its heavenly taste instantly hit me! It’s sweet, crispy and a little chewy on the inside. “What are these mom?” She said, “son those are meringues”.
I told my mom to buy more so that we can stock up on these glorious sweets. Instead, my mom made a batch from scratch. Months later, it’s still crispy and chewy! I did a little research on how to store meringues and let me share it with you.
How Are Meringues Made?
If you want to learn how to make homemade meringues, watch the video below.
What’s The Difference Between French, Swiss, And Italian Meringues?
There are three basic techniques in making meringues. Each one originated from a European country -- there’s the French, Swiss and Italian Meringues. The difference between the three variants lies on how the egg whites were formed and heated.
Sometimes called “ordinary” meringues, French meringues are the most basic of the three and the least stable until baked.
Egg whites are beaten in a mixer until they coagulate and form soft peaks.
At this point, sugar is slowly added until the mixture is thick, has volume, light and airy.
When you remove the attachment from the mixer and you lift it up, the mixture should stand and won’t fall off.
French meringues are spooned or piped into different forms.
Dessert shells called “vacherins”, “dacquoise” are cake layers topped off with fruits, whipped cream or mousse.
Watch the video to know how to make vacherins and dacquoise.
Egg whites are gently beaten with sugar in a pan that sits above boiling water.
When the heat reaches 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit and sugar is well incorporated, the mixture is immediately taken off and beaten fast and vigorously to increase volume.
The maker then slowly decreases the beating speed until the mixture’s cool and has a stiff peak.
This kind of meringue is smoother, silkier and denser compared to French meringues. You often see this as a base for buttercream frosting.
Let's watch this video to know how to make Swiss Merigue Buttercream.
The method of making a Italian meringues is as follows:
Boil ½ cup of water and ½ cup of sugar to 240 degrees Fahrenheit. You may use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature.
Lower heat to medium-high setting after it has boiled for a minute.
Remove the syrup immediately when the heat reaches 240 degrees.
Whip the egg whites over high heat using a mixer.
When the mixture is at a soft peak, lower the speed to medium and gently pour the syrup on a steady stream.
Increase the speed on high when all of the syrup is poured.
When the meringue mixture is on a stiff peak texture, decrease the speed again and keep beating until the bowl is cool to the touch.
Pipe or spread the meringue according to your recipe. Always remember that the mixture gets spongy as it sits.
My personal favorite would be French meringue. It’s the simplest to make and always has better results compared to the Swiss and Italian variants that tend to be dense. French meringues are lighter and crispier.
Neat Trick To Cut Back On Sugar!
As you have noticed, sugar is a huge ingredient in making meringues. As meringues bake, it evaporates slowly, thereby weakening the structure of the meringue.
At the same time, the egg-white protein ovalbumin gets stronger and provides additional structure to the meringue.
Sugar helps strengthen the structure as it bakes because it has the tendency to hold on to water molecules. If there is not enough in the mixture, the water evaporates rapidly, causing the meringue to collapse before the ovalbumin stabilizes.
But, what if you want to cut back on your sugar without compromising the texture and taste?
Cornstarch is the key! It shares the same water adherent properties of sugar. You may ratio the sugar and cornstarch at 50:50, so that you can cut back on sweetness without compromising flavor and structure.
3 Steps On Storing Meringue The Best Way Possible
What You’ll Need
Step 1. Place the meringues carefully inside the mason jar
If you’ve baked small meringues, you may stack them on top of each other but make sure to leave 2 inches of space on top of the lid so that you won’t crush the meringues once the jar’s closed tightly.
You may place a parchment paper above each other if you’re quite hesitant that they will stick to each other. Before closing the lid, place a parchment paper as well to protect the meringues on the top part.
Step 2. Close the lid
Always make sure that it’s tightly sealed. Moisture can ruin the texture of the meringues, making it soggy, sticky and unappetizing.
Air is a villain for most foods. Thus, you must much purchase the best containers that have tight lids to keep moisture out.
After closing the lid and making sure it’s tightly sealed, write down the production and expiration date on the outside of the container. Usually, it can be stored from 5 to 6 months.
Step 3. Store the container in the coolest part of your kitchen
Make sure this part of your kitchen is not in contact with sunlight.
You can keep the meringues at room temperature or you may store it in the freezer.
Just remember the consequences of moisture when you decided to thaw the meringues.
The shelf life of frozen or room temperature-stored meringues is probably 2 to 3 weeks.
Things To Bear In Mind
You don’t want your meringues to melt right? Keep it away from direct sunlight!
Place leftover meringues into a tightly sealed container to keep its crispiness.
Usually, a baked meringue can last up to 3 weeks when stored in room temperature and frozen. As long as it’s properly cooled down before packing.
Avoid using ceramic containers because they are usually made with porous materials, so moisture is definitely going to ruin your meringues.
Storing meringues is as easy as 1, 2 and 3. You just have to remember that moisture is your number one enemy! And also, don’t forget to cool the meringues down before placing them inside the container when it’s taken out of the oven -- it just takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
Some people don’t have the patience of waiting -- don’t be one of them.
Alternatives to mason jars are resealable plastic bags or glass jars. Actually, any container is good as long as it can be tightly sealed.
Did you find this article useful? Have you had any experience in making and storing meringues? If you have, share your experience with us and feel free to leave a comment below. Don’t forget to share this post! Take care mate!