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I've scoured the internet to find the recipe for one of my favorite childhood sweets, and since I'm away from home, I can't buy it by weight and I definitely can't afford to buy a tiny piece for $3 or $4 all the time. I came across a recipe and I did everything exactly as the recipe said, but I ended up with this. enter image description here

Now THIS is what I actually want to eat, I bought it at a Venezuelan place a while back, but they only sell singles.

enter image description here

Any ideas on how to end up with the fluffy sweet white one?

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    You'll want to post the recipe you used so people can help you. It's definitely not normal for meringue cookies to come out like that. – Aaronut Jan 15 '15 at 6:21
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    There are so many possibilities that we need to know what you did before we can tell you, what you did wrong. – Stephie Jan 15 '15 at 8:58
  • Well here's the kicker that I forgot to mention, that was how it's supposed to be according to that recipe... I don't exactly remember which site I opened since it was on my phone but the end result had a picture with brownish ones like mine... I put them in the oven too, is that how it's usually done? – Y.G. Jan 15 '15 at 9:05
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As you have not posted a recipe I can't tell you how to fix it for next time. I can't tell you what is wrong with them though.

Brown, because the oven was too hot. I do mine by blasting in oven at 135c for 15min then turning it off and going home. Then when I get back to work in the morning they are perfect.

Flat, because... Many possibilities

  1. Over/undrr whisked eggs
  2. Too much/little sugar
  3. Too much moisture
  4. Time between whisking eggs and getting them in the oven was too long (5min maximum)
  5. Fat has got into the mix. Possibly from a dirty bowl/whisk/bit of egg yolk or even your hands.

To help control the whisking of eggs I mix about 1 part corn flour with my sugar. And an equal amount of white wine vinegar. So whisk your eggs up to stiff peaks, tip in your sugar/cornflour mix whisk a little till it starts to dissolve then add the vinegar. Keep whisking until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is really shiney (rub a little between your fingers if it feels grainy keep whisking).

As soon as it's whisked (use the old trick of holding the bowl upside down if it stays you should be fine) get it straight on a baking tray however you want and into the oven. This part is critical the longer it sits UN cooked the more likely you'll have a disaster.

  • Thanks alot for sharing this. I definitely had my oven on at around 350F, and I think a large reason was also the whisking, as my uncle doesn't have one of those automatic ones and I had to do it by hand... Needless to say, it was exhausting and I still don't think I got to the correct texture... One last question though, can I use egg whites in cartons? Instead of getting regular eggs and separating them, which still seems like a difficult task for me, I just got a small egg white liquid carton last time, would that work? – Y.G. Jan 15 '15 at 10:52
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    Personal experience with egg white cartons hasn't been great to be honest. I don't know why. Maybe because they are pasteurized. – Doug Jan 15 '15 at 10:58
  • Hmmm... Guess I'll have to get a big carton of eggs and have a whack at it! I'm accepting this and I'll let you know how it turns out later with pictures! Thanks :) – Y.G. Jan 15 '15 at 11:01
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    I also do the 'shut off the oven and leave overnight' cooking for meringues. And for the issues of fat -- do not use a plastic bowl for whipping egg whites. Oil clings to plastic (as it's made from oil), and will never give you the same volume that you'll get from a metal or glass mixing bowl. – Joe Jan 15 '15 at 13:12
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    If hand whisking is exhausting, the problem is the whisk, not the process. But carton egg whites are surely not OK, these are meant to be cooked in something but not beaten to a froth, who knows what additives are in there.. – user57361 Jun 6 at 0:13
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Here is a recipe from my favorite site, in French :-).. https://www.marmiton.org/recettes/recette_meringue-pour-les-nuls_36610.aspx Meringues for dummies, from someone's grandma.

Notes show that most people prefer 200g sugar for 4 egg whites, rather than the 250g given here, but some go as low as 30g per egg (120 total). You bake for 30mn-1h at 100oc. Centigrade, not Farenheit, that might be some of the source of your confusion, so 212oF.

Some tips from the video:

  • Preheat the oven so you can toss them in quickly without loss of loft

    It helps when your egg whites are room temperature

    A pinch of salt or a drop of lemon help with the rising

    Beat egg whites to soft peaks, not too firm

    Add the sugar slowly. The video shows that while still beating, some do it gently by hand

    Be sure to use parchment paper on the cookie sheet

    Use a pastry piping bag for fancy work, or just spoon the stuff on

    30mn gives you soft white meringue, an hour more pink and crisp

    During the baking, open the door briefly a couple time to allow steam to escape, that makes for drier meringues. Briefly!! Watch to see how long if you have any doubt. And maybe no more than say twice in 30mn, so you don't lose heat.

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