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Baking Meringue

Asked by cheunga. Answered on 10th May 2011

Full question

I'm currently making a basic meringue for Eton Mess right now and I've made meringues before. However, this time there's an overflow of sugar syrup flooding out from the meringue while it's in the oven! What causes this and is there a way to prevent my poor oven from being laminated in bubbling sugar? Thank you!

Our answer

If a sugar syrup is flowing out from the meringues then it is most likely that the sugar had not fully dissolved when you were making the meringue. Make sure you use caster (superfine) sugar which dissolves more readily than granulated. The sugar then liquefies and weeps out of the meringue.

When whisking your egg whites make sure that you whisk them to stiff peaks before adding any sugar. Whisk in the fist few additions of sugar one tablespoon at a time, making sure that you whisk the whites back to stiff peaks before adding the next tablespoon of sugar. Do one tablespoonful for each egg white used- so for 2 egg whites add 1 tablespoon of sugar, whisk back to stiff peaks then add the second tablespoon and whisk again. For the remainder of the sugar you can whisk it in or fold it in, depending on the recipe you are using but you can check that it has dissolved by rubbing a little of the meringue mixture between your fingers - it should feel very smooth with no sign of graininess. If you are making a large quantity of meringue using a stand mixer then may be useful to just give the meringue mixture one or two folds with a metal spoon to make sure that any sugar that may have sunk to the bottom of the bowl has been fully incorporated.

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