A simple meringue is the main ingredient to thousands of recipes; from cakes to cookies, frostings to mousses. Essentially it is whipped eggs whites with sugar. This sugar can be granulated, golden, castor, icing, or incorporated in a simple syrup. Though simple, meringue is very tedious to make by hand; it requires a lot of beating to incorporate all of the necessary air, and stand mixers and hand mixers work best. When it's finished, the meringue should be glossy and smooth, with a thick, cloud-like texture. While making a meringue, it's important to know certain descriptions:
Soft peaks:
This is when the egg whites have been beaten enough to create a foamy and white mixture, that is just coming together. The term "soft peaks" refers to lifting the whisk and seeing a drooping tip. It is after this stage that the sugar can begin to be added slowly.

Firm peaks:

This is when the meringue is complete. It's thick and wonderfully fluffy. When the whisk is lifted, the meringue can stand up on its on. Watch the eggs carefully! If you over-beat them, they will become grainy and not fold well into a batter or pastry cream.

You can stop at any stage between soft and firm peaks, depending on what you are making or what texture you're going for.


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