If you have ever had a problem with meringue, whether it be cracking, dense, or weeping. Here are a few tips that will help you perfect your pavlova and make a magnificent meringue.
- If you would like your meringue to be a little chewy, then try folding in a teaspoon of cornflour and a dash of white vinegar into your mixture before baking.
- Use egg whites at room temperature and mix them using a hand whisk or kitchen aid until the whites are thick and glossy.
- Always use caster sugar when making meringue or a mixture of caster and icing sugar as granulated sugar doesn't work well at low temperatures and may causing weeping.
- For a very light meringue, add the sugars after you have whipped your egg whites; if your meringue is dense, it's because you have added the sugar too early. To prevent this, add the sugar in stages to generate as much air into the mixture as possible.
- Some people crank up the heat and then drop the temperature when baking meringues to shock the mixture and puff it up, whereas others use low heat of 120°C/250F and let them slow bake. Either way, ensure that your oven is at the correct temperature and once the meringues have baked, leave in the oven to cool fully as this will prevent cracking.
- You can tell when the meringue has baked as it's crisp on the outside and sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom of it.
- If your meringues have cracked, and there is no saving them, then make a deconstructed dessert by crushing up the large meringues and placing layers in a bowl with fresh cream and strawberries. The crushed meringue can also be used to sprinkle on ice cream or used as a crunchier texture on the top of a cupcake.