Meringue questions

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Meringue questions

Post by ChrisGreaves »

I grabbed three recipes from the web. From them I extract the essential ingredients and steps and proceeded.
Lightest Ever Meringues
Basic Meringues
Hard Meringues

(1) (Basic meringues) Step 1 “Preheat oven to 120c” Step4 “Reduce the oven temperature to 90°C.” Why preheat to 120 then reduce to 90 just before cooking? Why not pre-heat to 90 and be done with it? My understanding of the use of the oven for meringues is that it serves to drive out water/moisture from the mix very slowly, hence a low heat setting. I understand that 120c is too great (above boiling point), and that 90c is better (below boiling but sufficient to bounce out H2O molecules slowly).

(2) (Hard meringues) (Shells) “place paper upside-down on a baking sheet” I don’t understand why the paper should be placed upside-down when we aren’t told which way is right-way-up originally. The only thing I can think of is “so as not to get pencil carbon transferred to the base of the meringue”

I recall my mum “cooking” meringues by leaving the tray on the kitchen table for an hour or two. The heat in the corrugated-iron house was enough to drive out the moisture. That is, the essence of cooking meringues seems to be the long and gentle cooking time, rather than the rapid baking of bread/cake to firm it once the gases have expanded.

I would imagine that in a cold-climate, one could “bake” meringues overnight over a floor heating vent (forced-air heating) providing that the house one had purchased was puchasing did not have a humidifier attached to the heating unit.

Thanks for any answers/comments
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