After having spoken about syrups and their use in confectionary, I could have not ignored one of the recipe where syrup plays the main character: the Italian merengues.
I have already wrote about meringues here. In that occasion, I just discussed about the French meringues, maybe the most classic, which is prepared by beating the eggs white with sugar at room temperature. There is also another kind of meringue, the Swiss one, but I might dedicate a separate post to it.
Italian meringue differs from the French one because it is prepared with a sucrose syrup at 120 C. I heard a lot about the Italian meringue, but I never tried it because the procedure sounded a bit complex. However, given I had to make something with syrup for the blog, I felt I could have not ignored it any longer. Eventually, all equipped with a kitchen thermometer and a pinch of patience, I rolled up my sleeves and faced my gastronomical fears.
The result? Worth it :)
A few comments/remarks:
the procedure is just sligthly more complex than the French meringue. If you are a pro with that, you should find no problems with the Italian one. You must only get a kitchen thermometer
use a standing mixer if you have one. Your hands will be free to easily add the syrup without risking to burn yourself (be careful with that, it is still a solution at 120 C!)
adding the syrup at 120 C allows pasteurizing the egg whites, for a safer result
compared to the French meringue, the Italian one is shiny and dense
doses are from the site Giallozafferano, (I just skipped the pinch of salt) as well as the procedure, which is however very standard
(Doses for 30-40 small meringues)
250 g of sugar
50 g of water
125 g of egg whites (about 4 egg whites)
Pour the sugar and the water in a pot and warm them up under medium flame. Let the sugar dissolve by stirring from time to time. Wait for the temperature to reach about 110 C to start beating the egg whites. When the syrup reaches 120 C, set the speed of the mixer at a minimum and pour half of that on the egg whites, so that the syrup won’t be sprayed on the edges of the container. Keep beating for 20-30 seconds and add then the remains half of the syrup. Keep beating the mass until it will be firm. The meringue is ready when it will assume a sparkling look. To be sure, stop the mixer and dismount the whipping hook: if the meringue stick to it, it’s ready.
Transfer the meringue in a sac a poche and deposit small portions on a oven pan, covered with parchment paper. Let dry the meringue in a preheated oven at 90 C, for about 4 hours.
Let me know if you like them :)