Meringue – what is it and how to cook French, Italian, Swiss according to step-by-step recipes with photos

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All real sweet tooths have tasted such a delicious airy treat as meringue. It is prepared as an independent dessert or is a component of more complex confectionery. You often noticed it in the form of air domes decorating the top of the cake. Everyone’s favorite pasta, Pavlova’s dessert is made on the basis of meringue. There are three technologies for creating this dish. Master all the subtleties of cooking, try the proportions and techniques proposed below.

What is meringue

Delicate airy sugar-protein cream is called the beautiful word meringue, it is often also called meringue, but this is not true, there is a big difference in these two concepts. The difference between meringue and meringue is that meringue is the basis of meringue, which after baking turns into a tasty, but different confectionery dish. Having learned the meringue – what it is, it is important to figure out where this dish came from. There are three versions:

  • French Confectionery recipe developed by chef François Massialo.
  • Swiss and Italian. The delicacy is named after the Swiss town of Meiringen, in which the Italian pastry chef Gasparini lived. Experimenting with the proteins and sugar that remained after preparing the banquet dishes, the culinary specialist beat them so intensively that they turned into a steep foamy mass. Gasparini tried to bake this mixture – it turned out a delicious crispy dessert.


Meringue is divided into types according to the degree of density of protein mass:

  • Soft. Ideal for baking soufflés and biscuits. If you remove the whisk from the bowl with whipped squirrels, turn it upside down, the tail of the meringue will sag, but the whole mass will not slip.
  • Medium hardness. Useful for adding to cream and dough. When lifting the whisk up, the tail of the meringue will bend slightly.
  • Tough. The consistency consists of a dense structure, holds its shape well, and is suitable for decorating desserts. When manipulating with a whisk, the sharp tail does not fall at all.

According to the cooking technology, they distinguish:

  • French meringue. Whipped whites with sugar.
  • Swiss meringue. Meringue cooked in a water bath.
  • Italian meringue. Sugar syrup is added to the protein mass in a thin stream.

Meringue on a baking sheet

Cooking Application

Meringues are widespread as:

  • Cream bases: creamy, protein-oil, protein.
  • Basics for soufflé, mousse cakes.
  • Crispy cakes: air meringues, seasonings, pasta.
  • Crispy Dessert Decoration.
  • Glazes for cakes, cakes, pies, gingerbread cookies.

Air meringue

The taste of meringue blends perfectly with:

  • fruit
  • berries;
  • nuts
  • marmalade;
  • ice cream;
  • sweet sauces;
  • chocolate
  • milk
  • cottage cheese and curd masses;
  • whipped cream;
  • jelly;
  • coffee;
  • spices;
  • jam or jam.

Chocolate cakes

How to cook meringues

It is not difficult to make this tasty treat, but for beginners, for the first few times, some difficulties may arise. Egg white is a very moody ingredient. To make the dessert perfect, an inexperienced chef needs to practice preparing a protein mixture, for which the following qualities are important:

  • splendor;
  • ease;
  • plastic;
  • shape retention;
  • airiness.

Whipped squirrels

Meringue Recipes

There are several ways to make meringues. Beat it with sugar syrup or just sugar, cook in a water bath. Each recipe has several little secrets that make this dessert inimitable. The main feature of the confectionery is lightness and delicate taste. Try three basic meringue recipes, choose the best for yourself.


  • Cooking time: 10-15 minutes.
  • Servings Per Container: 1 Person.
  • Calorie content: 268 kcal per 100 g.
  • Purpose: dessert.
  • Cuisine: European.
  • Difficulty: Easy.

French meringue is the easiest to prepare and versatile dessert. Based on this classic recipe, meringues are baked. Dessert consists of a light, unstable structure that settles quickly, so it is prepared before serving. It is used in souffle, icing for Easter cakes, gingerbread. It is not recommended to use the French meringue in its raw form, it does not undergo heat treatment.

Confectioners in France use this type of goodies for the dessert “Floating Island”, “Versailles Chic”. On the basis of the French meringue, they make Pavlova meringue cake, all kinds of dacoise, Rainbow Kiss cookies, pasta. To prepare the perfect dish, you must strictly follow the recipe. The proportion of protein and sugar is 1: 2.


  • proteins – 1 pc.;
  • sugar – 55 g;
  • lemon juice – 1 tsp;
  • table salt – 3 g.

Cooking method:

  1. Before whipping the egg white, degrease the dishes and beaters with lemon juice, dry thoroughly with a dry towel.
  2. Put the protein in a bowl, add salt, begin to beat at the initial speed of the blender.
  3. As soon as slightly standing foam appears (soft peaks), it is necessary to increase the intensity of whipping to medium revolutions.
  4. In parallel, without turning off the blender, add sugar in small portions, beat until completely dissolved.
  5. When the mass reaches hard peaks, you need to go to the highest speed of the blender, continue to beat for a couple of minutes.
  6. The finished treat looks smoothly white and holds steady on the whisk without shifting a millimeter.

Multicolored french meringue


  • Cooking time: 40-45 min.
  • Servings Per Container: 2 Persons.
  • Calorie content: 253 kcal per 100 g.
  • Purpose: dessert.
  • Cuisine: Italian.
  • Difficulty: medium.

To create a meringue in the Italian manner, it is necessary to strictly observe the proportions and unquestioningly follow the cooking technology. In the dessert, one more component is used – water, from which hot syrup is prepared. With improper actions, there is a big risk of turning the dish into an omelet. Italian meringue has a very dense and stable structure, it is ideal for the manufacture and decoration of complex desserts. In syrup, you can add various fillers, dyes (to change color), this will further decorate the dish.


  • proteins – 2 pcs.;
  • sugar – 150 g;
  • water – 40 g.

Cooking method:

  1. Pour 30 grams of sugar into a separate small container.
  2. Pour the remaining 120 grams of sugar into a saucepan or saucepan with a thick bottom, add water, put on medium heat.
  3. The temperature of the syrup should not exceed 120 degrees. Bring to a boil, then cook for another 5-7 minutes. until a homogeneous, thick mixture is obtained. The water should completely evaporate. It is forbidden to stir syrup, as sugar can crystallize back.
  4. While the sugar mixture is being prepared, beat the whites. Place their dry skimmed dishes, beat at medium speed, gradually adding sugar until a soft peaks consistency.
  5. Increase the speed of the mixer to the maximum, in a thin stream begin to pour hot (but not boiling) sweet syrup into the protein mass.
  6. Beat until the proteins cool to room temperature and turn into a snow-white, shiny, thick cream.

Tart with italian meringue

How to make Swiss meringue

  • Cooking time: 20-30 minutes.
  • Servings Per Container: 2 Persons.
  • Calorie content: 268 kcal per 100 g.
  • Purpose: dessert.
  • Cuisine: Swiss.
  • Difficulty: medium.

Unlike the French meringue, this confectionery product is prepared on a steam bath, it goes through heat treatment, and therefore the delicacy can be consumed both raw and baked. Dessert has a more stable dense shape. Swiss meringue is ideal for toppings in desserts and pastries, as a layer of cakes, creams and embossed decoration on cakes.


  • proteins – 2 pcs.;
  • sugar – 120 g.

Cooking method:

  1. Pour some water into a pot and boil.
  2. Pour sugar into a separate bowl, pour in room temperature proteins. Beat ingredients slightly until light foam.
  3. Place a container of protein mass over a pot of boiling water so that the hot liquid does not touch the bowl of protein.
  4. Constantly stirring with a whisk or mixer (at low speeds) to heat the mixture to 60-70 degrees. In this case, the sugar crystals should completely dissolve and grains of proteins between the fingers should not feel grains.
  5. Continue whisking the proteins at medium speed for another 10 minutes..
  6. Then remove the cream from the steam bath, maximize the speed of the mixer, beat until the protein mass is completely cooled..


Useful Tips

To make the dessert perfect, I must take into account some rules:

  • How to beat? Any device that is in the kitchen arsenal is suitable here: mixer, food processor, whisk, blender.

Bowl and whisk

  • The choice of dishes. For whipping proteins, it is better to use bowls made of copper, stainless steel or glass, so the heat will be evenly distributed. It’s better not to take plastic utensils at all, it can absorb fat.
  • Clean dishes. All kitchen utensils must be perfectly clean and dry. The smallest amount of fat on the walls of the bowl can greatly complicate the process of whipping the protein mass. Before making the dessert, you need all the utensils: bowls, spoons, whisk, pastry syringes, shoulder blades to wipe with lemon juice or 9% table vinegar. Then you need to wipe the dishes dry with a napkin or paper towel.
  • Gently separate the protein and yolk. Even one small drop of yolk can significantly affect the density of the foam of the future confectionery. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully separate the protein. It is best to separate cold eggs, then the shell of the yolk becomes denser and does not tear.
  • What kind of eggs are needed? If the protein does not succumb to heat treatment, use fresh chicken eggs (suitable for French meringue), in all other cases (Swiss, Italian) they take eggs that have been lying for more than a week.
  • Protein temperature. Here, the opinion of the culinary experts diverges: some prefer to use chilled products, while others prefer warm. But at room temperature, protein foam whips better, more fluffy and has a stable shape, so it is recommended that inexperienced chefs work with warm ingredients.
  • Sugar selection. Large sugar crystals dissolve in protein for a long time, it is recommended to use fine sugar or powdered sugar. Do not take stale foods: they could absorb moisture, odors.
  • Speed ​​and whipping time. At the start, the whipping speed must be selected minimum (in order to saturate the mass with oxygen) and gradually increase them. It is important not to over-beat the proteins, otherwise they become dry, lose their stable, airy consistency, do not mix well with cream or dough.
  • Adding sugar. Sugar begins to pour when the mass is beaten to soft peaks. Add it gradually, in a thin stream..
  • Proportions. It all depends on taste preferences. Someone likes a sweeter, someone sour. The more sugar, the more stable the dish. It’s important not to overdo it so that sugar does not turn into caramel.
  • Meringue baking. The whipped protein mixture is added to the cream or baked (dried) as a separate dessert (meringue). The oven must be preheated in advance to 130-140 ° C, the protein mass is spread on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Dessert the dessert for the first 15 minutes at a temperature of 100-110, then reduce the degrees to around 50-60. It is impossible to accurately predict the baking time (from 2 to 6 hours), it all depends on the size and thickness of the protein mass layer.

Baking in the oven

  • Storage. You need to store meringues in a clean hermetically sealed container or bag so that they do not soften, absorbing moisture from the air.

Finished products in a box

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