Whether you are making marvelous macarons, Italian buttercream or a beautiful pavlova, making a meringue can be a sticky situation.
So delicious, yet so temperamental at times, conditions have to be near perfect for that lovely meringue to whip up properly. The humidity in the kitchen must be controlled, and the temperature of the sugar syrup must be just right. Even then, things can still go wrong.
Pouring the hot sugar syrup into the bowl of beaten egg whites can pose its own challenges. Even with the best intentions, the molten syrup can spill, fly around the bowl or become stuck to the side of the bowl and the whisk, resulting in grainy, gritty meringue.
If you have ever found yourself in this situation, take heart. Here are a few possible causes and solutions for some of those meringue woes.
Make sure the mixer is on medium-low speed when pouring the sugar syrup. It should be fast enough to prevent the eggs from curdling, but not so fast that the molten sugar flies all over the kitchen.
Ready, Aim, Pour
Try to pour between the bowl and the whisk. This will prevent splattering and the possibility of the hot syrup crystalizing on the bowl and whisk.
Hot and Heavy
If the hot saucepan is too hard to handle, try pouring the syrup into a smaller container first. Just work quickly before the syrup cools down too much.
If the syrup is pooling on the bottom of the bowl, stop pouring briefly until it begins to incorporate before continuing.
Use a saucepan that has a curved lip that will stay steady against the lip of the mixer bowl while pouring.
With a little patience and practice, that fluffy, billowy meringue will be ready for all of your favorite desserts.