meringue - hot sugar method

May 30, 2018

meringue - hot sugar method

In our recent review of the three primary meringue techniques -- French, Italian, and Swiss -- we helped you choose which method to use depending on the end result you hoped to achieve; and last week, we gave you a beautifully simple recipe for a matcha twist on the classic Eton Mess dessert, using the Swiss method.

Today, we have a fourth technique to share with you -- a hybrid, of sorts, between the Italian and French methods.  It is a simplified “hot sugar method,” first popularized by the English chef and meringue master, Ottolenghi.

For this method, heat extra-fine sugar in a 400 degree oven for six minutes. Meanwhile, softly beat the aquafaba. When the sugar is ready, lower the mixer speed and spoon the hot sugar into the aquafaba. Because it’s been heated, the sugar will dissolve more easily than it does in the standard French method; but it is less involved than the sugar syrup process called for by the Italian method. In short, it is arguably the best of both worlds!

If you’re still feeling intimidated by the mystical meringue, this no-fuss recipe for French Meringues using the hot sugar method is just what you need!

French Meringue (Hot Sugar Method):

1 cup aquafaba (drained from about 1, 15oz can of chickpeas)

2/3 cup extra fine sugar

¼ tsp cream of tartar (optional)

½ tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare the aquafaba: in an uncovered pan on the stove, bring the aquafaba to a simmer and reduce by half. Allow to chill in the refrigerator. This step can be done in advance and stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Chef’s Tip:  After it chills, it should jiggle like a soft jello. If it still pours easily, it will still make a soft meringue, but needs to be further reduced for a stiff meringue.

  1. Measure the sugar and place it in a glass casserole dish, or parchment lined baking sheet. Place the sugar to heat in the oven for 6 minutes or just before the outer edges begin to caramelize.

Chef’s Tip: You can make your own extra fine sugar by placing it in a blender on high   speed. Pulse until you have a fine powder.

  1. At the same time, transfer the reduced aquafaba to a stand mixer set with a whisk attachment and begin beating on medium-high speed.
  2. When foamy, after about 2 minutes, add the cream of tartar. Raise the meringue to high speed, and beat four more minutes, until the sugar is ready.
  3. Remove sugar from the oven. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift to remove any caramelized bits. Lower the oven temperature to 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Lower the mixer speed and gradually spoon in the hot sugar, blending well after each addition. Continue beating one more minute after all of the sugar is added.
  5. Spoon the meringue mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (or fill a pastry bag and pipe the meringues onto the sheet). Bake at 190 to 200 for 1 hour or until the bottoms of the meringues can be removed easily

Chef Tip: For crisp meringues, allow the baked meringues to dry overnight in the oven with the pilot light on before storing.

  1. Transfer finished meringues to air tight containers. Meringues will absorb humidity but can be easily refreshed in a low oven for 20 minutes to redry.


Guest contributor, Jessica Serdikoff

Jessica has been driven all her life by a passion for food. Getting her informal start in her grandmother’s kitchen many years ago, she took a brief culinary hiatus to become a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer. Her curiosity and enthusiasm for food, recipe development, and kitchen creativity never left her, though, leading her most recently to graduate from the chef’s training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute of NYC. Now she has the know-how to geek out about food and the science behind it!

Chef, Diane Forley

Meringueshop founder and meringue-obsessed chef, always in search of new ways to use aquafaba.

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