Italian Meringue

Method

Similar to American cake frosting, Italian meringue is most often used for topping puddings and for piping. Boiling sugar syrup is poured on to whisked egg whites, which, as a result, are partially cooked, making the mixture more stable and versatile than Swiss meringue.

This meringue holds its foam for a few hours before use or baking, which is why it is excellent for piping into shapes or making into baskets or discs. Italian meringue also forms the basis of some of the lightest and most successful ice creams.

To make the sugar syrup, use 250 g (8 oz) granulated sugar and 125 ml (4 fl oz) water.

  • Beat 3 egg whites with ½ teaspoon salt in a clean howl until stiff and glossy. (For ease, use an electric mixer but not a food processor.) Pour the boiling sugar syrup on to the egg whites in a steady, thin stream, beating constantly until the mixture is smooth, very stiff and glossy. Allow the meringue to cool before using. These quantities are enough to make two 23 cm (9 in) discs or baskets.

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