The science behind vegan meringues (2023)

Aquafaba, or the liquid in a can of beans, is one of the most exciting culinary "discoveries" in recent memory. Not only was it considered a superior vegan egg replacer to commercially available ones; it wasfound by curious home cooks around the world, are experimenting in their kitchens to find something that comes close to how egg whites behave in delicate desserts like meringues.

In addition to its great availability and the fact that it is very affordable, I like the idea of ​​working with aquafaba because it is a way to take advantage of something that in many cases would go down the drain. However, I've been experimenting with aquafaba as an egg substitute, I've found that it sometimes works really well, as inKenji's Aquafaba Pancakes, but sometimes it doesn't, like when I tried replacing it with eggs to make brownies. I decided to take a look at aquafaba and see how it works under different conditions while trying to find a good aquafaba meringue recipe.

Why aquafaba is a good egg substitute

The science behind vegan meringues (1)

Aquafaba's usefulness lies mainly in its ability to create foams. Mousses are emulsions, like a salad dressing or dressing, but whereas a sauce like mayonnaise is an oil-in-water emulsion and a vinaigrette is a water-in-oil emulsion, mousses are air-in-water emulsions. That is, air molecules are scattered within and surrounded by water molecules.

Aquafaba is rich in substances that improve the foaming ability of water, as the seeds of legumes such as chickpeas and soybeans contain albumins and globulins, the same proteins found in eggs that make them so useful for creating culinary foams. They are also rich in saponins, organic plant-based chemicals that work like soaps* because they can dissolve in fat and water and can also help form stable lathers. The combined presence of albumins, globulins and saponins in the chickpea cooking liquid causes it to produce a stable foam when agitated.

* "Saponin" is derived from the Latin "sapo" which refers to soap.

Chickpeas are rich in albumins, globulins and saponins, but other legumes also contain these components and can be used to make aquafaba. However, if you use other aquafaba legumes as egg substitutes, expect them to give very different results; Legumes differ in their chemistry and some aquafabas do not produce as firm a head as chickpea aquafaba. Furthermore, most studies show that aquafaba chickpeas have the most "neutral" flavor; other aquafabas will look, smell and taste different. Even different types of chickpeas produce aquafabas that have clear differences in color and foaming ability.

Ein stabileres Aquafaba-Kiss

The aquafaba question that interested me most was whether it could be manipulated to make a more stable foam that could be used to make a meringue that wouldn't fall apart after a few hours.

(Video) Vegan Meringue Cookies : How to Use Aquafaba (for a Valentine's Day treat!)

Did you know that in an egg-based meringue, a combination of mechanical stress and lower pH (achieved by adding cream of tartar, an acid) denatures proteins such as albumen when the mixture is vigorously aerated to generate a foam. It seemed logical that aquafaba proteins would behave the same way as egg white proteins in the presence of cream of tartar.

However, aquafaba doesn't just contain protein; it also contains those saponins that I knew to produce more stable foams at alkaline pHpreviously published research. So, I reasoned, raising the pH of the aquafaba using an agent like baking soda should help create a more stable foam.

I should note that increasing the stability increases the stability of the sugar in the meringues, which due to its ability to bind and retain water, helps to prevent the proteins on the surface of the foam from drying out too quickly, thus increasing the stability. . from the foam

Vegans Aquafaba-Baiser-Glaze

Aquafaba and pH: The effect on meringues

The science behind vegan meringues (2)

To test the relative strengths and weaknesses of meringues made with aquafaba and the addition of acidic and alkaline ingredients, I used a single meringue recipe but varied the aquafaba used in the recipe in two out of three batches by changing the pH value in the mix. decreased or increased aquafaba by adding cream of tartar and baking soda. For the third batch I used pure aquafaba.

The foams made from each experiment were left to rest to estimate how long they could last without falling apart. Another set of foams was baked to see how they behaved when heated and to measure how well they could maintain their structure in meringue cookies.

(Video) AQUAFABA|Vegan Recipes|Science behind Aquafaba Recipe|Macrons & Meringue

In each experiment I used unsalted pickled chickpea liquid, which would not only ensure consistent aquafaba quality, but would also make my results easily reproducible for people at home (provided, of course, that they also used chickpeas). beak). used). canned aquafaba). However, I did the experiments several times and used different brands of chickpeas, which led me to a surprising discovery about chickpeas cooked with kombu (more on that below).

The results: the untreated control

The science behind vegan meringues (3)

When aquafaba was whipped with sugar, the liquid emulsified into a foam, but it wasn't very stable. Within an hour, the foam started leaking liquid and started to fall apart. However, whipping the mixture again helped to gather the foam and the meringue kept its shape during cooking. The only problem I had with baking was that the meringue started to take on a brownish tint, as nothing could slow down the caramelization and Maillard reactions. (See also my results for kombu-cooked chickpeas.)

The result: aquafaba with cream of tartar

The science behind vegan meringues (4)

Adding cream of tartar to aquafaba gave consistently good and reproducible results. The acid's low pH not only helps to reduce the brown color developed by caramelization and Maillard reactions; It also helps modify protein structures to create a stable foam that aerates and holds its shape both at room temperature and after cooking. Even after 16 hours on the kitchen counter, the raw foam was very stable and didn't break. Meringues baked with cream of tartar often tasted much softer than those without; The latter looked a bit smudged because the bubbles in the foam were a little wobbly.

The results: aquafaba with baking soda

The science behind vegan meringues (5)

(Video) Aquafaba Meringue Life Hack!! GAME CHANGER

Saponins form stable foams at alkaline pH, so I assumed that adding baking soda to aquafaba and aerating it would produce a very stable foam. I was wrong: after emulsifying the aquafaba, the foam lost volume within an hour at room temperature; The foam fell apart during cooking. (This batch of meringues, unlike all the others, also stuck to the parchment paper I lined the baking sheet with and didn't come off.)

A second consequence of using baking soda is that the resulting meringues look and taste a little strange; both take on more color and have a "toasted" flavor, both of which are undesirable in meringues. The alkaline pH created by baking soda accelerates caramelization (a complex series of reactions involving sugar) andMaillard reactions(a complex series of reactions involving the amino acids in proteins and certain sugars called reducing sugars).

Overall, the effect of sodium bicarbonate on aquafaba meringue seems to indicate that saponins may play a lesser role in the formation of aquafaba-based foams than albumin and globulin proteins.

The results: kombu and aquafaba

While working on this recipe, I got some mixed results when I changed my brand of canned chickpeas and realized it was because some brands, like Eden, use thesekombuchawhen they cook the beans. Kombu is often used for cooking beans because it contains alpha-galactosidase, an enzyme that breaks down raffinose, the indigestible carbohydrate in beans that causes gas.

It turns out that aquafaba with kombu can make a very stable meringue even without cream of tartar. This is because kombu contains carrageenan, a carbohydrate commonly used as a food additive (found in macaroni and cheese or evaporated dairy products) as it acts as an emulsifier and stabilizer.

However, when I removed the aquafaba from a can of kombu-cooked chickpeas, it took a long time to create stiff peaks in the presence of baking soda, the resulting foam was not very stable, and the meringues fell apart during cooking.

Vegano Baiser-Kekse

Heat aquafaba meringue to improve stability

The science behind vegan meringues (6)

(Video) How to make vegan meringues

Inspired byStella's Swiss Meringue Recipe, I also tested whether heating the three different aquafabas could produce a more stable foam. I heated the mixtures to 79°C (175°F) and 84°C (183°F) (the same temperature at which ovalbumin in an egg denatures) in separate experiments. The hypothesis here was that the albumin proteins found in aquafaba would denature at about the same temperature as egg albumin and produce a more stable foam when whipped.

I have found that I can make a stiff foam with plain aquafaba and aquafaba with cream of tartar, with and without kombu (baking soda aquafaba performed just as poorly as in previous tests) and after baking with the meringues maintain structure. The results were similar to the test results without the warm-up step, so overall I don't think any warm-up is necessary. However, heating the meringue removes most of the chickpea flavor, and the method produces a silkier, marshmallow-like frosting for cakes and pies, with a much smoother texture.

Use of different types of chickpeas

I tried several brands of chickpeas in these tests and the results varied wildly, even when the only ingredients listed on the cans were chickpeas and water. For example, it took me half the time to make Westbrae's canned chickpea aquafaba meringue than any other brand. Eden's chickpeas cooked with kombu have always given me the best results.

I've also tried to make meringues with chickpea aquafaba that I made myself with dried chickpeas, and those experiments didn't work out very well. I found that the ratio of water to chickpeas that I usually use when preparing dried chickpeas resulted in a much less viscous aquafaba. Because canned chickpeas are so common and I tend to flavor dried chickpea cooking water with spices and flavors that would distract from desserts, I recommend sticking with canned aquafaba for the meringue recipes I've created.

Although dry aquafaba powder products are now available, I have not tried any of them in this series of experiments.

How to make less fatty aquafaba meringues

The science behind vegan meringues (7)

Perhaps the biggest question for aquafaba-based meringues is whether they taste and smell like beans. As I mentioned earlier, cooking the meringue removes a lot of that bean flavor, but it's still detectable. Ultimately, I've found that the acceptable level of bean in a meringue depends primarily on the type of aquafaba you use, your sensitivity to the bean flavors and aromas, and the flavoring agents you use to bring out those flavors and mask flavors. .


Aquafaba made with chickpeas is considered bland compared to aquafaba made with other legumes. When I tested my recipes, I found that 1 teaspoon of high-quality vanilla extract could not completely mask the bean flavor, but when I used stronger aromatic spices or flavoring ingredients like cardamom or rose water, the bean smell was basically imperceptible. Here are some flavors that I think worked particularly well in each of the recipes:

  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground green cardamom
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground fennel or star anise
  • ½ teaspoon instant espresso or ground coffee plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon rose water

Vegan Cardamom Meringue Cookies with Strawberry Compote


What is the science behind vegan meringue? ›

That is, air molecules are dispersed in and surrounded by water molecules. Aquafaba is rich with substances that enhance water's foaming abilities because legume seeds like chickpeas and soybeans contain albumins and globulins, the same proteins found in eggs that make them so useful in creating culinary foams.

Why is my aquafaba not reaching stiff peaks? ›

The trick to whipping aquafaba is using a hand or stand mixer! Whisking it by hand takes quite a long time and does not produce as good of results. Another trick is to throw in 1/8-1/4 tsp cream of tartar, which causes the aquafaba to whip up much easier, faster, and makes the peaks firmer.

What is the chemistry behind aquafaba? ›

A study has found that the main components of aquafaba are polysaccharides, sucrose, and various proteins. Chemically, this mixture has many of the same components as egg whites, so it makes sense that it can function in many of the same ways.

Why does aquafaba make meringue? ›

When you whip egg whites, their proteins trap air and form a colloidal foam, the technical term for what's essentially a meringue—basically, pockets of gas suspended in a liquid. Analysis has identified protein and starches, leached from the chickpeas, in aquafaba.

What is the chemistry behind meringues? ›

Denaturing exposes some of the hydrophobic amino acids, which move to the air bubbles to get away from the water in the egg white. As proteins coat the air bubbles, the hydrophobic amino acids begin to react with each other. This causes them to link together to form nets, which can help keep the bubbles from popping.

What are the three rules for making a successful meringue? ›

Use eggs at room temperature. Cold egg whites tend to reduce meringue volume. Never let any yolk get into the whites. Don't overbeat egg whites.

Why is my aquafaba not working? ›

You forgot to add cream of tartar.

A 1/4 teaspoon or so of cream of tartar added to the aquafaba before you start whipping helps the liquid foam and fluff up to make for easier whipping and a more stabilized end result.

Why is my meringue not firming up? ›

If the meringue mixture becomes flat or runny when the sugar is added then it usually means that the egg whites were not quite whisked enough before the sugar was added. It sometimes helps to whisk the whites, then add a tablespoon of sugar and whisk the whites back to medium peaks before adding the rest of the sugar.

Does cream of tartar stabilize aquafaba? ›

Often used with egg whites as well, cream of tartar acts as a stabilizing ingredient that improves the structure of the whipped aquafaba. Aquafaba whipped with cream of tartar takes less time to reach stiff peaks. And aquafaba whipped without cream of tartar will also deflate much more quickly.

How many eggs does aquafaba replace? ›

The equivalent of one egg is about 3 tablespoons of aquafaba, 2 tablespoons are about the same as one egg white, and 1 tablespoon is around the same as one egg yolk.

Is aquafaba just chickpea water? ›

Aquafaba is an egg replacement usually made from chickpea water. Some people also use soybean water or water from other neutral-tasting beans. Not only is it a healthy alternative to eggs, but it is also vegan-friendly.

Does aquafaba have nutritional value? ›

While aquafaba contains few calories, it does not add significant nutrition. Aquafaba is composed of protein, starches and vegetable gum, but does not contain the same nutritional value as a legume or an egg yolk.

Why is lemon juice added to meringue? ›

Whether it be vinegar, lemon juice, cream of tartar, or a combination, an acid will greatly improve the structure of meringue. Acid not only helps meringue whip up and aerate more quickly, it also keeps it stable. Without acid, meringue is more likely to collapse either during or after mixing.

How much aquafaba equals 1 egg? ›

When using aquafaba to replace whole eggs, measure out 3 tbsp per egg and lightly whisk to aerate. Use just as you would eggs in your recipe.

Why do vegan meringues collapse? ›

Your vegan meringue might collapse, weep or melt if your aquafaba was either not thick enough, under whipped, over whipped, not stabilized properly, or if the sugar was added too quickly.

What ingredient helps stabilize a meringue? ›

Don't forget the secret ingredient

For the strongest and most stable meringue, add 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar for every egg white before beating—it's an acid that stabilizes the egg white. If you don't have any on hand, use 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice for every egg white.

What factors occurs in meringue to stabilize? ›

Factors affecting the stability of Meringues are as follows:

Fat inhibits foaming. Mild acid like lemon juice or cream of tartar helps to foam. Egg whites foam better at room temperature. Do not overbeat egg whites for they will look dry and curdled.

What is the purpose of vinegar in meringue? ›

An acid, such as a vinegar, can be added to a meringue mixture to help create a more stable foam when the meringue is mixed. In scientific terms the acid helps to denature, or break down, the coils of amino acids in the egg white's proteins so that they become long strands instead.

What must be avoided when making meringue? ›

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Meringue
  1. Adding Sugar Too Quickly.
  2. Skipping Cream of Tartar.
  3. Mixing in a Dirty Bowl.
  4. Using Cold Eggs.
  5. Overbeating the Egg Whites.
  6. Squeezing the Air Out.
  7. Baking at Too Low a Temperature.
Aug 17, 2022

What happens if you whip meringue too long? ›

Over whip the egg whites and you risk making them too firm and they will risk losing the moisture that they hold. This will affect your meringue's crispness, as well as making it more likely to collapse or weep beads of sugar.

Should you whisk meringue fast or slow? ›

Slow and steady is the fast and hard rule for any meringue. Start slow when whipping the whites for small and stable bubbles, slowly up the tempo so you don't over beat and then slowly add the sugar. This goes for your oven too. We're not cooking, so much as drying out the meringue.

How long does aquafaba water last? ›

How long can you keep aquafaba? Store unwhipped aquafaba in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze aquafaba for months. For ease, consider freezing it in tablespoons in an ice cube tray.

How do you emulsify aquafaba? ›

Use a mixer.

It generally takes 8-10 minutes to see semi-firm peaks using a hand mixer and 3-5 minutes using a stand mixer. The higher the speed, the better. However, just like whipped egg whites or heavy cream, you can over-whip aquafaba. Once stiff peaks form, no matter how many minutes it took, stop whipping.

Does aquafaba have to be whipped? ›

Do I Have to Whip Aquafaba? You only need to whip it if your recipe calls for whipped egg whites. Otherwise, you can use the bean liquid as is.

What does cream of tartar do to meringue? ›

Cream of tartar stabilizes the tiny bubbles in the egg whites, by precluding the egg proteins from sticking together. It thus speeds up the egg white whipping process and contributes to a stable, billowy, glossy meringue, perfect for cookies, topping pies, and folding into cake.

How do you fix a failed meringue? ›

To revive them, beat 1 egg white until frothy, then gently fold into overbeaten whites until they're shiny and moist again.

Will adding more sugar stiffen meringue? ›

Also, if you are trying to hand beat your meringue or beating them at a slow speed, they will take quite a while to get stiff peaks. Start beating your egg whites at slow speed but then increase your mixer to medium speed as you add sugar, and they begin to stiffen.

How long should you whip aquafaba? ›

After about two and a half minutes of whipping, you'll get to the stiff peaks stage. You'll know that you're there when you stop the mixer, hold it up and the aquafaba is more stiff, so stiff that it sticks out, like in the picture below.

What can I use instead of cream of tartar in aquafaba meringue? ›

Lemon juice

Cream of tartar is often used to stabilize egg whites and helps provide the characteristic high peaks in recipes like meringue. If you're out of cream of tartar in a case like this, lemon juice works as a great substitute.

How do you stabilize meringue without cream of tartar? ›

Cream of Tartar Substitute: Lemon Juice

If the cream of tartar is being used to stabilize egg whites, add 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice per egg white.

What is the best vegan egg substitute for baking? ›

The Best Vegan Egg Substitutes for Baked Goods
  • Ground Flaxseed. 1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2 ½ tbsp warm water. ...
  • Ground Chia. 1 egg = 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp warm water. ...
  • Applesauce. 1 egg = ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce. ...
  • Silken Tofu. 1 egg = ¼ silken tofu. ...
  • Vegan Yogurt. ...
  • Banana. ...
  • Pumpkin Puree. ...
  • Aquafaba.
Oct 11, 2022

What do vegans use instead of eggs to bind? ›

Vegan Egg Substitutes for Baking & Binding
  • Applesauce. 1 egg = 1/4 cup applesauce. ...
  • Flax Egg. 1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water. ...
  • JUST Egg. 1 egg = 3 tbsp JUST Egg. ...
  • Dairy Free Yogurt. 1 egg = ¼ cup unsweetened dairy free yogurt. ...
  • Baking Soda + Vinegar. ...
  • Tofu. ...
  • Mashed Banana. ...
  • Pumpkin Puree.
Oct 7, 2022

What brand of chickpeas are best for aquafaba? ›

Goya Chick Peas/Garbanzos

If you want the best aquafaba, you want the best chickpeas, too. Tasters raved about the "perfect consistency" of these "plump," "nutty" chickpeas.

Can you eat raw aquafaba? ›

Can I eat it raw? Our Aquafaba is made for baking and cooking so we don't recommend drinking it straight from the carton! However, it's 100% safe to eat uncooked if you can't resist licking the spoon before your mix goes in the oven

Why is aquafaba so popular? ›

While aquafaba became popular in vegan cooking as a plant-based alternative to eggs, the lightweight liquid isn't just for vegans. It adds fluffiness and structure to foods, from pancakes to mayonnaise, and is popular in baked goods like cookies and cakes and even pizza dough.

Does aquafaba taste like egg? ›

Does aquafaba taste like eggs? Aquafaba can be used as a vegan egg substitute in many recipes and it's the only thing that you can use to replace egg whites when making a vegan meringue, however, it has a slight taste of beans and doesn't taste like eggs.

What is the risk of aquafaba? ›

Aquafaba can cause gassiness. Besides the BPA/BPS chemicals from cans, hormones from pesticides, it can also contain a lot of sodium from low-quality salt used during the production. It is low in nutrients and has no added value to our diet.

Is aquafaba full of lectins? ›

What about lectins, phytates/phytic acid, phytohemagglutinin, gas, etc? Aquafaba by definition is made from beans that have been heat treated > 100C, and chickpeas have the least amount of lectins and phytates. If you're worried, use canned or home cooked chickpeas and avoid the other beans.

Is aquafaba better than eggs? ›

Preliminary nutrient analysis suggests that aquafaba is extremely low in calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat, and it contains little, if any, vitamins or minerals (3). On the other hand, eggs and dairy are nutritional powerhouses. One large egg delivers 77 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats.

When making a meringue What is the most important ingredient you need? ›

Ingredients for meringue

Eggs – Fresh eggs are best for making meringue. Using boxed or carton egg whites is not recommended, as they are usually pasteurized, and that processing can sometimes keep the meringue from getting completely glossy and stiff.

Should I add vinegar to meringue? ›

Yes. The vinegar or cream of tartar are acidic ingredients which help to strengthen the egg white foam network, making the meringues more stable.

Should eggs be cold or room temp for meringue? ›

We recommend using fresh, cold egg whites for meringues. They make a foam that is easier to work with, and the baked meringues have a more delicate and uniform texture.

Do canned chickpeas have aquafaba? ›

Aquafaba is the thick liquid that results from soaking or cooking legumes, such as chickpeas, in water for an extended period of time. It's the translucent viscous goop you probably rinse down the drain when you open a can of chickpeas.

How long does aquafaba last in fridge? ›

Aquafaba should be stored in a sealed mason jar in the refrigerator where it will last for up to a week. What is this? You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. I like to freeze it in increments of 2, 3 and 6 tablespoons in separate mason jars for future use.

Why does aquafaba chickpea water act like egg whites? ›

Aquafaba is rich with substances that enhance water's foaming abilities because legume seeds like chickpeas and soybeans contain albumins and globulins, the same proteins found in eggs that make them so useful in creating culinary foams.

Why is my aquafaba not forming peaks? ›

You forgot to add cream of tartar.

A 1/4 teaspoon or so of cream of tartar added to the aquafaba before you start whipping helps the liquid foam and fluff up to make for easier whipping and a more stabilized end result.

How do I make my meringue not deflate? ›

Beat a mixture of thickened cornstarch and water into the egg whites to bind and stabilize the liquid in the meringue (and keep it from seeping out). Cook the filling for the full 2 minutes on the stove top so the cornstarch thickens completely and doesn't start breaking down and "leaking" during chilling.

How could a vegan bind ingredients without the use of egg? ›

Flaxseed (aka linseed)

Combine a tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water, stir to combine, and let stand for 5 minutes to thicken. Ground flaxseed emulates eggs' binding qualities in breads, cakes, muffins, cookies, burgers, and vegan meatballs.

What ingredient is added to meringue to help stabilize it? ›

Don't forget the secret ingredient

For the strongest and most stable meringue, add 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar for every egg white before beating—it's an acid that stabilizes the egg white.

Why does the egg meringue recipe only use egg white not egg yolk? ›

Question: Why don't you use egg yolk in meringue? Egg yolks contain fat which interferes with how the proteins arrange themselves, stopping the mixture fluffing up.

How does meringue not give you salmonella? ›

When present, salmonella is typically found in the egg yolk, but whites are not considered safe. Eggs must be pasteurized or cooked to 160 F to kill salmonella. Purchased meringues from bakeries and grocery stores are cooked, baked or pasteurized and do not pose a risk.

What replaces eggs in vegan baking? ›

The Best Vegan Egg Substitutes
  • Flaxseed Meal. Rich in omega-3s, fiber, and protein, flaxseed is a staple in any vegan pantry. ...
  • Aquafaba. Don't pitch the leftover liquid from that can of chickpeas you just turned into hummus. ...
  • Banana. ...
  • Applesauce. ...
  • Chia Seeds. ...
  • Baking Powder and Oil. ...
  • Starches. ...
  • Tofu.
Aug 20, 2022

What oil can replace egg vegan? ›

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is widely used as an egg replacement in vegan baking and it's easy to see why. Once melted, this delicious oil will mix well into most batters, brownies and bakes. And it can be used to replace eggs when you're breading foods, such as tofu, before baking or frying.

How can vegans get the proteins they need without eating animal products? ›

Vegans can get protein from nuts, peanut butter, seeds, grains, and legumes. Non-animal products like tofu and soymilk also provide protein. Vegans have to consider getting enough “complete proteins.” A complete protein contains all the amino acids your body needs to help maintain your metabolism.

What does vinegar do in meringue? ›

An acid, such as a vinegar, can be added to a meringue mixture to help create a more stable foam when the meringue is mixed. In scientific terms the acid helps to denature, or break down, the coils of amino acids in the egg white's proteins so that they become long strands instead.

What does adding cornstarch to meringue do? ›

A few teaspoons of cornstarch mixed with the sugar helps by soaking up any liquid left in your meringue, leaving it shiny, beautiful, and puddle-free. Starch is especially helpful in hot, humid weather when a meringue is most likely to absorb extra moisture.

Why won't my egg whites whip into meringue? ›

New, room temperature egg whites will whisk up faster than old, cold eggs. Make sure the bowl you whisk the egg whites in is free from any greasy residue. Make sure that no egg yolk is in with the egg whites. Egg yolks are very high in fat and will hinder the whisking process.

What does cream of tartar do in meringue? ›

Cream of tartar stabilizes the tiny bubbles in the egg whites, by precluding the egg proteins from sticking together. It thus speeds up the egg white whipping process and contributes to a stable, billowy, glossy meringue, perfect for cookies, topping pies, and folding into cake.

What are the factors affecting stability of meringue? ›

The speed of whisk, length of time whisking, cleanliness of egg (i.e. no yolk), state of the bowl (e.g. needs to be clean and dry) etc.

How do you make meringue safe to eat? ›

As a general rule, dry meringue shells, divinity candy, and 7-minute frosting are safe because they are made by combining the hot sugar syrup with beaten egg whites, so the egg whites are sufficiently heated. Meringue-topped pies and cookies will be safe when baked at 350 °F for 15 minutes.

Is it OK to eat uncooked meringue? ›

The heat of the syrup cooks the eggs, and from there, you have a silky, glossy meringue that, like Swiss meringue, is safe to eat without baking (French meringue, on the other hand, needs to be cooked after it's prepared).

Why do meringues fail? ›

Older egg whites tend to not hold the air bubbles as well as fresher whites, which can cause them to collapse. A more common cause of collapse, though, is that when the whites are beaten too quickly (on too high a speed) they form big unstable air bubbles, which will later collapse.


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