Last week I made a meringue icing for my cupcakes and had problems making my meringue form peaks. This makes me ask what are some of your tips/tricks? What do you do or add to your egg white mixture in order to help it form peaks when you are having troubles.
It's important to let your eggs get to room temperature. I use this simple recipe for all meringues:
- 4 egg whites
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- Pinch of cream of tartar
The cream of tartar is what really makes the egg whites to firm up nicely.
Well, I think that my big mixer has something to do with it. If I put clean (no-yolk) whites in a clean bowl there and turn it on, I don't have any problems getting peaks.
If you are doing this by hand, cream of tartar and a copper bowl are both recommended.
I think you should whip the whites to soft peaks (peaks curl over when you take the whisk out) before adding the sugar, which will help to stiffen up the meringue. The more sugar you use the stiffer the meringue will be (up to a point, obviously). Use very fine sugar, which will dissolve more easily into the egg whites.
You can whip until the peaks stay straight up when you take the whisk out but avoid over whipping as this will cause the meringue to collapse.