Chapter 7 Eggs as leaveners and meringues.
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
* Define an egg foam.
* Identify the three types of meringues.
* List the tips to ensure a successful meringue.
* Describe and recognize the stages of egg foams as they reach soft peaks and stiff peaks.
* Define a souffle.
* Define a marshmallow.
* Demonstrate the role of eggs in meringues and as leavening agents by preparing the recipes in this chapter.
cream of tartar
The role of eggs as thickeners is discussed in Chapter 6. Another major role that eggs play is as a leavening agent. A leavening agent is an ingredient within a recipe that helps the final product rise and expand. Eggs, whether whole or in their component parts (whites or yolks), can hold air within their structure. This air produces a light, airy texture in many pastries and desserts. Picture a fluffy souffle or a light angel food cake and you can already visualize the power of eggs as leaveners.
This chapter discusses the role eggs play as leavening agents and the role they play in creating different types of meringues. The preparation and the various uses of meringues are also discussed.
Egg Foams Defined
When eggs are beaten, air becomes trapped within the proteins, which then expand when heated. This trapped air pushes on the batter as it heats up. The pressure increases as the heat increases, and the food expands and rises. Eggs with air beaten into them are known as egg foams and can be the basis for cakes, souffles, meringues, frostings, mousses, and even candies.
In the last chapter, we discussed eggs denaturing or setting and becoming firm as they are heated. Beating eggs will also denature them, or break them into fragments, allowing the fragments to hold trapped air and moisture between them while foaming. As the beating of the whites continues, the denatured proteins surround each air bubble, much like children gathering together to hold hands in a circle. This network of proteins helps to prevent the air from escaping, thus maintaining the structure of each air bubble without collapsing. Picture an air bubble surrounded with loosely bonded protein fragments (Figure 7-1). Whole egg foams and egg white foams can be used to leaven baked goods such as sponge cakes and souffles.
The recipes in this chapter deal with egg white foams, which are egg whites beaten using the whip attachment of an electric mixer or a whisk. Mixtures of egg white foams and sugar are known as meringues. Egg whites are the natural choice for leavening many types of baked goods because they hold more air than whole eggs or yolks. Meringues are versatile and can be used as a leavener for cakes and souffles, as a topping on pies and Baked Alaska, or as a frosting for cakes, or they can be used in the preparation of marshmallows or baked at lower temperatures into crisp layers for cakes and tortes.
Three Types of Meringues
The texture of meringues can range anywhere from soft and airy to firm and crisp. The amount of sugar added to an egg foam and the degree to which it is heated determines how hard or firm a meringue is produced. In general, 1 part sugar to 1 part egg whites or a 1:1 ratio is used with 1 ounce (2 tablespoons; 30 g) sugar per 1 egg white for softer meringues and 2 parts sugar to 1 part egg whites or a 2:1 ratio is used with 2 ounces (4 tablespoons; 60 g) sugar per 1 egg white for firmer meringues.
[FIGURE 7-1 OMITTED]
There are three types of meringues. Each one has a different level of stability and stiffness. They are French meringues, Swiss meringues, and Italian meringues. (See Table 7-1, Comparison of the Three Types of Meringues.)
Structure of Egg Foam
Beating egg whites causes the proteins to break down into fragments, trapping bubbles of air between them, producing a foam.
French meringues are also known as common meringues and are the simplest of the three types. French meringues can be used to top desserts like lemon meringue pie or for a Baked Alaska. They can also be used to leaven souffles and cakes, or they can be baked and used as a crisp meringue cookie or cake layer. A soft French meringue uses a 1:1 ratio of sugar to egg whites; a firmer meringue uses a 2:1 ratio of sugar to egg whites.
PROCEDURE TO PREPARE A FRENCH MERINGUE
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whip attachment, beat the egg whites with an acid, such as cream of tartar or lemon juice, until thick and foamy.
2. At high speed, slowly add the granulated sugar over a period of 3 to 4 minutes. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Start a Swiss meringue by warming the egg whites and sugar over a hot water bath before beating them. The heat helps the sugar crystals dissolve, forming a thick liquid that surrounds and protects each air bubble within the meringue. The heat also denatures the proteins in the egg whites, forming a more stable meringue than a French meringue. Swiss meringues are generally used to prepare cake frostings such as buttercreams and cookies.
PROCEDURE TO PREPARE A SWISS MERINGUE
1. Egg whites and granulated sugar are placed in the bowl of an electric mixer over simmering water (as in a double boiler or bain marie) and heated to 120[degrees]F (49[degrees]C) while being whisked constantly to avoid cooking the whites.
2. Once the correct temperature is reached, the bowl is removed from the heat and the mixture is beaten at high speed until it has cooled and stiff peaks have formed.
Italian meringues are central to many frostings, cookies, and confections, such as marshmallows. In an Italian meringue, boiling sugar syrup is heated to 240[degrees] to 250[degrees]F (115[degrees] to 122[degrees]C). It is then beaten into the egg whites to help them expand in volume and grow fluffy and light. The boiling sugar syrup cooks the proteins in the egg whites so that they become set, which helps make the Italian meringue the most stable type of the three meringues.
PROCEDURE TO PREPARE AN ITALIAN MERINGUE
1. Have the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whip attachment ready to beat.
2. A sugar syrup consisting of granulated sugar, corn syrup, and water is brought to a boil. When the temperature reaches 230[degrees]F (110[degrees]C), begin to beat the egg whites on high speed.
3. When the sugar syrup reaches 240[degrees]F (115[degrees]C), lower the mixer speed to medium and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites. Do not pour the syrup directly onto the whip or else small clumps of hardened sugar will form.
4. Turn up the mixer speed to high and continue to beat until the mixture is cool and forms stiff peaks.
Helpful Hints to Get the Fluffiest Meringues
1. Make certain the egg whites are at room temperature before you begin. Because the surface tension of the egg protein is lowered at room temperature, it is easier to beat air into them. Place the eggs in a bowl at room temperature 1 hour before you plan to use them. Or, to speed the process, place the whites in a bowl and place them into a larger bowl of warm water. Allow the eggs to warm to room temperature.
2. Make sure the bowl and the whip to the electric mixer are grease-free and dry. Grease prevents egg whites from foaming.
3. Add a small amount of an acid, such as lemon juice or cream of tartar (powdered potassium hydrogen tartrate), to egg whites that have been beaten until thick and foamy. Adding acids early in the beating process denatures the proteins and helps create a more stable meringue. If the meringue is more stable, air bubbles cannot escape as easily because they are surrounded by a stronger, more flexible protein network. Acids and cream of tartar have no effect on the actual volume of a meringue.
4. The addition of sugar adds stability to a meringue. When sugar is beaten into egg whites, the crystals of sugar surround each denatured protein coil, protecting it from drying out and adding moisture and stability. Sugar is added gradually after the egg whites reach the soft peak stage. If the sugar is added too early, it can weigh down the egg whites, preventing them from reaching their full volume.
Tips for the Best Meringues
1. Egg whites at room temperature
2. Clean, dry, grease-free bowl and whip
3. Acids and sugar to make more stable meringues
What is cream of tartar?
A by-product of the wine making industry, cream of tartar is actually potassium hydrogen tartrate, an acidic salt of tartaric acid. It is used to make meringues more stable.
Using a Stainless Steel versus a Copper Bowl to Prepare Meringues
Beating the eggs in a copper bowl versus a stainless steel one can have positive effects on a meringue. Beating egg whites in a copper bowl is similar to adding cream of tartar to egg whites in a stainless steel bowl. Bowls lined with copper will leach or release tiny particles of copper into the egg whites; the copper binds to the proteins to form a highly stable network. Egg foams prepared in copper bowls are more resistant to overbeating. Meringues that are made using a copper bowl produce a creamier, yellowish meringue that differs from the pure white meringues produced in stainless steel bowls with cream of tartar.
Learning how to successfully separate an egg into its two component parts is a useful lesson for the pastry chef.
Most culinary professionals will say that eggs separate the easiest when they are warm. However, the warmer the egg, the quicker the white will detach itself from the yolk causing the yolk to break and ooze all over. It is easiest to separate eggs when they are cold. If the chilled yolk spills into the white in the bowl, it is often possible to spoon out the yolk without leaving any trace of it in the white.
Rubber gloves can be used when separating eggs, although if the eggs will be cooked to a temperature of at least 160[degrees]F (71[degrees]C), gloves are not necessary. Proper sanitation is critical so eggs do not become contaminated with disease-causing microorganisms. Be sure to clean hands in hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw egg products to prevent any cross-contamination with other foods or surfaces.
One Method to Separate Eggs
1. Line up three bowls.
2. Over the first bowl, gently crack the egg in the middle as if to cut it in half. Using both thumbs, gently pull the two halves apart, pouring the egg into half of the shell. The white will ooze out first into the bowl, leaving the yolk with any remaining white in the remaining half of the shell.
3. Pour the yolk into the hand that is free and, with your fingers, slightly spread apart, allow the remaining white to fall into the bowl, flowing through your fingers.
4. Pour the yolk into the second bowl. The third bowl is to catch each individual white each time a new egg is separated. Then pour each white (after it is separated) into the first bowl, collecting a pool of whites in the first bowl and a pool of yolks in the second bowl. The third bowl prevents you from contaminating any reserved whites with yolk if you accidentally break the yolk.
Substituting Pasteurized Egg Whites
Salmonella, a bacteria associated with eggs, can cause foodborne illness. Precautions should be taken when using fresh eggs that have not been pasteurized. Pasteurized egg whites are real eggs packaged without the shell that are sold in cartons or in the dried state. Pasteurization is a process that uses high heat to kill dangerous bacteria like Salmonella. Not all fresh eggs in the shell carry Salmonella, but it is safer to assume that all do. If a recipe calls for egg whites that will not be cooked to the appropriate temperature to kill Salmonella (160[degrees]F; 71[degrees]C), a pasteurized egg product should be substituted.
There are approximately 8 large egg whites in 8 fluid ounces, (1 cup; 240 mL). One egg white equals approximately 1 fluid ounce (2 tablespoons; 30 mL). For example, in order to substitute a pasteurized egg white product in a recipe that calls for 6 fresh egg whites, 6 fluid ounces (3/4 cup; 180 mL) of pasteurized egg whites can be substituted. When using a dry pasteurized egg white product, be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions as to how to reconstitute the product.
The fresh egg whites used for the meringue to top the Baked Alaska are heated to kill Samonella, although a pasteurized frozen product that whips or a reconstituted pasteurized dried egg powder can also be used.
(Note: Not all pasteurized egg whites are capable of being whipped to a soft or firm peak stage.)
How to Prepare a Safe Meringue Using Fresh Shell Eggs
How can a pastry chef prepare a food item containing unpasteurized fresh shell eggs while eliminating the possibility of contamination by dangerous microorganisms like Salmonella? The problem is that egg whites begin to coagulate between 140[degrees] and 150[degrees]F (60[degrees] and 65[degrees]C) and Salmonella is destroyed at 160[degrees]F (71[degrees]C). So how can the temperature of the egg whites be increased to destroy the Salmonella without overcooking the whites?
The addition of other ingredients to egg whites while they are slowly heated to 160[degrees]F (71[degrees]C) pushes the temperature of coagulation higher than it would normally be. As discussed in Chapter 6, adding other ingredients like sugar or a small amount of water interferes with the network of proteins formed, forcing the temperature of coagulation higher. The egg whites can then be removed from the heat and beaten to the proper stage stated in the recipe. This creates a safe meringue.
(Note: Adding large quantities of water--more than 1 fluid ounce; 2 tablespoons; 15 mL per 6 egg whites--will cause a meringue to become less stable as the proteins are diluted and are unable to form a stable network.)
The Trouble with Underbeaten and Overbeaten Egg Whites
Egg whites that are either underbeaten or overbeaten can ruin a recipe. Underbeaten egg whites allow liquid from within the egg foam to leak out (Figure 7-2A) because the protein network is not strong enough to keep it within. Egg whites that are underbeaten will collapse.
Overbeaten whites tend to look like soap bubbles--dry and tight (Figure 7-2B). This is similar to whole egg proteins that curdle: The strands of protein get too close and push out any moisture, leaving a very dry egg foam. At this stage, the whites are difficult to fold into any other ingredients. Try not to overbeat whites. The more sugar that is added to the beaten whites, the less likely they will become overbeaten because the crystals of sugar stand in the way of the strands of protein, preventing them from getting too close. Sugar in general is hygroscopic, that is, it absorbs moisture from the air, keeping the meringue moist.
Defining Key Terms
Recipes will typically describe how the egg whites should look when the whip is lifted up in the air after the egg whites are beaten for a period of time. Recipes refer to egg whites as reaching the "soft peak" or the "stiff peak" stage. Be sure to read the language of the recipe carefully so that the egg white foam is not overbeaten or underbeaten.
Recipes may use the following terms:
* Soft peaks. The whites are beaten to the point when the beater or whip is lifted up in the air and the beaten whites curl over on themselves (Figure 7-3A).
* Stiff peaks. The whites are relatively firm and, when the beater or whip is lifted up in the air, the beaten whites stand straight up (Figure 7-3B).
[FIGURE 7-2A OMITTED]
[FIGURE 7-2B OMITTED]
[FIGURE 7-3A OMITTED]
[FIGURE 7-3B OMITTED]
Incorporating Egg Foams into Other Ingredients
It is important to properly incorporate egg foams into other ingredients such as the base of a souffle by folding them in with a rubber spatula. Folding is a gentle way of blending light, foamy ingredients into heavier ones.
If the egg foams are mixed in too harshly, the air trapped within the protein network will escape as will the leavening power. Some chefs fold ingredients in with gloved hands instead of a rubber spatula to maintain more control over the mixing process. For more on folding, see Chapter 4.
Originating from France, the souffle is a light, puffy food that is lightened with beaten egg whites and is usually baked in a container called a ramekin. Souffles consist of three parts: a base mixture, which is often a custard, flavoring ingredients, and a beaten egg foam. The custard base includes egg yolks and milk or cream. The base helps give the souffle structure so it holds up. Ingredients are added to the custard for flavor and then whipped egg whites are beaten into light airy peaks and gently folded in.
The custard base can be made in many ways. Some souffle recipes use a pastry cream, thickened with starch as a base; other recipes call for a simple egg yolk, cream, and flavoring mixture as the base. On the other hand, fruit souffles tend to use pureed fruit as the base. There are an endless variety of souffle recipes, both hot and cold (not baked).
This mousse-like concoction is quickly poured into dishes, usually ramekins (round souffle cups made from ceramic or tempered glass), which have high sides for the souffle to climb during baking. The souffle puffs up into a delicate, airy, hot sponge to be eaten warm. Some pastry chefs place a piece of buttered or greased parchment paper around each ramekin to extend the top higher. This gives a taller surface area for the souffle mixture to cling to and helps it to rise even higher.
The three parts of a souffle are (1) a base (usually a custard), (2) flavoring ingredients, and (3) beaten egg whites.
Boiled Coconut Frosting (Chapter 15, page 367)
Chocolate Cookie Souffles (This chapter, page 111)
Chocolate Sponge Cake Roll (Chapter 14, page 329)
Citrus Chiffon Cake (Chapter 14, page 332)
Coconut Angelfood Cake (Chapter 14, page 335)
Hazelnut Genoise (Chapter 14, page 325)
Individual Baked Alaskas (This chapter, page 114)
Marshmallows (This chapter, page 118)
CHOCOLATE COOKIE SOUFFLES Makes 4 (6 ounce, 3/4 cup; 180 mL) individual souffles Lessons demonstrated in this recipe: * How an egg foam is used to leaven a souffle. * The three basic parts of a souffle. * How to correctly fold an egg foam into other ingredients while preventing the egg foam from deflating. MEASUREMENTS INGREDIENTS U.S. METRIC nonstick cooking spray 4 teaspoons 5 g granulated sugar 3 fluid ounces 6 tablespoons 90 mL heavy cream 1/2 ounce 1 tablespoon 15 g butter 4 1/2 ounces 3/4 cup 130 g semisweet chocolate chips 3 each 57 g large egg yolks, room temperature 3/4 fluid ounce 1 1/2 teaspoons 7 1/2 pure vanilla mL extract 3 each 84 g large egg whites, room temperature 1 ounce 2 tablespoons 30 g granulated sugar 2 sour cream fudge cookies (3 1/2 ounces; 105 g) (from the recipe in Chapter 16) coarsely crushed in the food processor 1 1/2 ounces 1/4 cup 45 g semisweet chocolate chips 1 1/2 ounces 1/4 cup 45 g white chocolate chips mixed together in a small bowl About 18 g confectioners' 2 tablespoons sugar for dusting 1. Preheat oven to 400[degrees]F (205[degrees]C). 2. Spray four 6-ounce, (3/4-cup; 180-mL) capacity souffle cups with cooking spray. Add 1 teaspoon (1 g) of sugar to each cup and rotate to coat all sides with sugar (Figure 7-4). 3. Prepare the custard base: In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and the butter to a simmer (small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan and steam forms). Simmering is usually just under a boil. Remove the mixture from the heat. [FIGURE 7-4 OMITTED] 4. Finishing and flavoring the custard: Whisk the chocolate chips into the hot heavy cream mixture until melted and smooth (Figure 7-5). Allow the custard to cool until lukewarm. Pour chocolate mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in 3 egg yolks and the vanilla (Figure 7-6). 5. To prepare beaten egg whites: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the whip attachment until soft peaks are reached (Figure 7-7). Gradually add granulated sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form (Figure 7-8A and B). Do not overwhip or the whites will look dry, like soap suds. Stop the mixer frequently to check the peaks as they stiffen. Stop the mixer and lift the whip out of the whites to see the peaks form. They should stand unwavering like a mountain peak. 6. Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the custard whisking them in thoroughly (Figure 7-9). The mixture is now lightened, so that the custard will not deflate the rest of the egg whites. [FIGURE 7-5 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-6 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-7 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-8 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-9 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-10 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-11 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-12 OMITTED] 7. Switch to using a rubber spatula. Gently and swiftly fold the rest of the egg whites into the lightened base (Figure 7-10). Spoon enough batter into each of 4 sprayed sugared souffle dishes, filling each one halfway (Figure 7-11). Sprinkle the souffl,s with half of the cookie crumbs and half of the mixed chips. Spoon the remaining souffle batter over the cookies and chips, filling to within 1/4 inch (6 mm) from the top. Sprinkle the tops of the souffles with the remaining cookie crumbs, followed by the remaining semisweet and white chocolate chips (Figure 7-12). 8. Place the souffle cups on a cookie sheet and place in the hot oven. Bake for 16 minutes. They will still shimmy a bit when shaken. Remove them from the oven and use a metal spatula to gently place each souffle (still in the souffle cup) on a dessert plate. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately! TIP To know whether your souffle cups can hold 6 ounces (3/4 cup; 180 mL) of liquid, fill one with that amount of water. If the water reaches the top of the souffle cup without overflowing, the ramekin has a 6-ounce (3/4-cup; 180 mL) capacity. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] INDIVIDUAL BAKED ALASKAS Makes approximately 12 3-inch (7 1/2 cm) Individual Baked Alaskas Lessons demonstrated in this recipe: * How to prepare a French meringue. * Salmonella is killed using two techniques to prepare a safe meringue: one using pasteurized egg whites and the other using fresh shell egg whites. * Superfine sugar dissolves more easily, preventing a grittiness to the meringue. * An acid such as cream of tartar is used to stabilize the meringue. Baked Alaska, a flaming ice cream cake and meringue dessert, was first invented in the 1920s at a restaurant in New York City named Delmonico's Steak House. Traditionally, Baked Alaska was ice cream packed into a round mold with a layer of sponge cake cut to fit and placed on top. It was frozen solid and then taken out of the mold and flipped over so the sponge cake was on the bottom. A meringue was piped on top and the entire dessert was browned lightly under the broiler or brought flaming to the table after being doused with an alcoholic beverage that had been lit with a match. STEP A: PLACING THE ICE CREAM ON TOP OF THE CAKE INGREDIENTS 3/4 recipe Fudgy Chocolate Cake, (Chapter 14), baked in a greased and floured half sheet pan 13 x 18 inches (33 x 46 cm) 12 scoops of Pistachio Ice Cream (Chapter 18) made at least 1 day ahead 1. Cut 12 3-inch (7 1/2-cm) rounds out of the cake using a round cookie cutter (Figure 7-13). Set the rounds aside on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Scraps of cake can be saved for another use. 2. Place 1 large scoop of ice cream onto each cake round and freeze until the ice cream is hard (Figure 7-14). [FIGURE 7-13 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-14 OMITTED] Caution: Because Salmonella is a concern, please use one of the following two procedures for preparing a safe meringue. STEP B: PROCEDURE FOR MAKING MERINGUE Procedure for Making a Meringue Using Pasteurized Egg Whites MEASUREMENTS INGREDIENTS U.S. METRIC 6 fluid ounces 3/4 cup 180 mL pasteurized egg whites (the equivalent of 6 large egg whites) 1/2 teaspoon 1 g cream of tartar 10 3/4 ounces 1 1/2 cups 305 g superfine sugar 1 teaspoon 5 mL vanilla extract 1. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whip attachment, beat the whites and the cream of tartar until the volume has increased and the mixture is thick and foamy. 2. Slowly beat in the sugar 1/2 to 1 ounce (1 to 2 tablespoons; 15 to 30 g) at a time until stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla extract until well incorporated. 3. Remove the ice cream-topped cake rounds with ice cream from the freezer and pipe stars or bands of meringue around the ice cream, using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, covering the ice cream completely. 4. Place the meringued cakes in the freezer until they are firm--several hours, or overnight. TIP If using pasteurized dried egg whites, be sure to rehydrate them according to the package directions. Be sure that the package states that the egg whites are capable of being whipped to a foam. Procedure for Making a Safe Meringue Using Fresh Shell Egg Whites MEASUREMENTS INGREDIENTS U.S. METRIC 6 each 168 g large egg whites, left at room temperature for 1 hour 10 3/4 ounces 1 1/2 cups 305 g superfine sugar 1 fluid ounce 2 tablespoons 30 mL water 1/2 teaspoon 1 g cream of tartar 1 teaspoon 5 mL vanilla extract 1. Heat 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) of water in a large saucepan and bring it to a simmer (not quite to a boil). Have a thermometer in a small cup of hot water ready to test the temperature of the egg whites. This helps the thermometer come up to temperature more quickly than if you had placed the thermometer into the egg whites directly. This saves time and prevents the egg whites from overcooking. 2. Place the egg whites, half the sugar, the water, and the cream of tartar into the bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the mixing bowl does not touch the water. Whisk constantly until a thermometer placed into the mixture reaches 160[degrees]F (71[degrees]C) (Figure 7-15A and B). 3. When the whites reach 160[degrees]F (71[degrees]C), remove the bowl from the water and place it on the base of the electric mixer. Using the whip attachment, beat until the mixture becomes very thick and foamy. 4. Slowly add the remaining sugar, about 1/2 to 1 ounce (1 to 2 tablespoons; 15 to 30 g) at a time until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla extract. Beat until well incorporated. 5. Remove the cake rounds with ice cream from the freezer and pipe stars or bands of meringue around the ice cream, using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, covering the ice cream completely. 6. Place the meringued cakes in the freezer until they are firm--several hours, or overnight. TIP If fresh shell egg whites are used, a procedure is used to destroy any Salmonella that may be present in the egg whites. This is done because the egg whites receive no further cooking. Although it looks like a Swiss meringue recipe, it is actually a procedure to cook the egg proteins and prepare a safe meringue. STEP C: ASSEMBLY Just before serving, preheat the broiler and broil the Baked Alaskas for only a few moments to get the top of the meringue lightly browned. Make sure the top of the broiler is several inches higher than the oven rack so the Baked Alaskas do not burn. A blow torch can be used instead of the broiler (Figure 7-16). Serve at once. Variation: Baked Meringues Either one of the above meringue recipes can be baked on their own after being piped onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and served as a cookie. Pipe into walnut-sized mounds onto the prepared sheet pan and bake at 225[degrees]F (108[degrees]C) for approximately 1 hour or until firm to the touch, but not browned. Remove and cool completely. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. [FIGURE 7-15A OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-15B OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-16 OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] MARSHMALLOWS Makes 110 1- to 1 1/2-inch (2.5- to 3.75-cm) diameter marshmallows Lessons demonstrated in this recipe: * How to prepare an Italian meringue stabilized with gelatin. * A hot sugar syrup cooks the egg proteins, creating the most stable of the three meringue types. * Air beaten into the meringue triples its volume. MEASUREMENTS INGREDIENTS U.S. METRIC 2/3 ounce 2 tablespoons 20 g unflavored powdered gelatin 2 2/3 fluid 1/3 cup 80 mL cold water ounces 9 ounces 1 1/4 cups 270 g granulated sugar 2 fluid ounces 1/4 cup 60 mL light corn syrup 2 2/3 fluid 1/3 cup 80 mL water ounces 2 each 56 g large egg whites placed in a small bowl and left at room temperature for 1 hour, or placed in warm water bath to bring to room temperature more quickly 2 teaspoons 10 mL pure vanilla extract, or 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon (5 mL) coconut extract shredded coconut, toasted finely chopped semisweet chocolate finely chopped pistachio nuts confectioners' sugar for dusting 1. Place 2 silicone baking mats over 2 large sheet pans and set aside. 2. Soften the powdered gelatin by sprinkling it over 22/3 fluid ounces (1/3 cup; 80 mL) cold water in a small bowl, stirring and allowing it to bloom and swell into a jellylike mass. 3. In the meantime, combine the sugar, light corn syrup, 2 2/3 fluid ounces (1/3 cup; 80 mL) water in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring just until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and use a pastry brush dipped in cold water to wash down the sides of the pan if sugar crystals form. 4. Place a candy thermometer into the syrup and boil undisturbed (no stirring) (Figure 7-17). As the water in the syrup comes to its boiling point, the syrup will bubble up quickly. If this happens, turn down the heat to medium and then, as the water boils off, turn the heat back up to high. As the temperature of the sugar syrup climbs to 230[degrees]F (110[degrees]C), place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat the whites on high speed until thick and foamy. 5. Continue beating at high speed and wait until the sugar syrup in the saucepan reaches 240[degrees]F (115[degrees]C). Turn down the speed of the beater if the whites are getting past the soft peak stage. When the sugar syrup reaches 245[degrees]F (118[degrees]C), add the softened gelatin into the hot sugar syrup and whisk quickly to melt (Figure 7-18). Remove the mixture from the heat. 6. Slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the mixing bowl (pouring to the side of but not directly onto the beater) while the beater is turned on medium speed (Figure 7-19). After all the sugar syrup has been added, turn the mixer up to high speed. Do not be concerned if some sugar crystals form as they hit the beater and get splattered onto the sides of the bowl. Add vanilla or coconut extract. Beat until the volume of the mixture triples (Figure 7-20). This should take about 6 to 10 minutes. The mixture will look soft and fluffy. 7. Immediately scoop the mixture into a large pastry bag fitted with a large round or star tip and pipe out large walnut-sized rounds about 1 to 11/2 inches (2.5 to 3.75 cm) onto the prepared sheet pans (Figure 7-21). [FIGURE 7-17 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-18 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-19 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-20 OMITTED] [FIGURE 7-21 OMITTED] 8. Sprinkle each marshmallow with a pinch of toasted coconut, chopped chocolate, or pistachios, if desired. Leave the marshmallows to cool at room temperature, uncovered until firm, at least 3 hours, or overnight. 9. Marshmallows are best eaten up to 1 day after they are made. However, they can be stored in an airtight container in between sheets of parchment paper that have been dusted with confectioners' sugar for up to 2 weeks. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
1. Name three ways to ensure a successful meringue.
2. Of the three types of meringues discussed in this chapter, which one is the most stable and why?
3. What does hygroscopic mean? How do the hygroscopic properties of sugar help a meringue stay moist?
4. Why are acids such as cream of tartar added to egg whites while beating them into a meringue?
5. How do egg white foams work as leavening agents?
6. What is the temperature at which Salmonella, a bacteria found in some eggs, is killed?
7. What are the three parts of a souffle?
8. Why are beaten egg whites folded into other ingredients and not mixed in?
Robert Garlough, MS AAC
Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids, MI
1. Question: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in baking and pastry?
Answer: I had been in the food service industry and was at The Culinary Institute of America when I took a course in baking and pastry.
2. Question: Was there a person or event that influenced you to go into this line of work?
Answer: My family always valued food. My family still values quality food. I grew up on a farm where we raised our own vegetables, made our own cheeses.
3. Question: What did you find most challenging when you first began working in baking and pastry?
Answer: I had done other stations but when I took my first baking class it was the most foreign thing to me. The science of baking means that you have to be so much more precise than in other culinary areas. It was that very challenge that made baking and pastry so interesting to me. That class started a lifelong love.
4. Question: Where and when was your first practical experience in a professional baking setting?
Answer: That culinary school class was the first experience for me. I had worked in some top-notch restaurants before coming to the school but that introduction to commercial baking was all new to me.
5. Question: How did this first experience affect your later professional development?
Answer: It impressed on me how much I enjoyed learning and how I wanted to make continuous learning a part of my life.
6. Question: Who were your mentors when you were starting out?
Answer: Early in my culinary career Tony D'Agneli, a chef from Ohio, was a big influence. There was nothing that he taught me that I have ever found to be wrong or contradicted. Later, Michael Hurst and Brother Herman Zaccarelli have helped me in my career. But there are so many colleagues from whom I have learned so much.
7. Question: What would you list as your greatest rewards of your professional life?
Answer: Early on I was a food show junkie and I won medals. Then I started coaching and that was more fulfilling. Starting a culinary school here in Grand Rapids ranks pretty high, too. Maybe the greatest reward, though, is running into former students and having them tell me about their success.
8. Question: What traits do you consider essential for anyone entering the field?
Answer: A person has to be precise to succeed. Sloppiness just won't work. And, as with success in any area, the person has to have high standards and a real passion for what he or she is doing.
9. Question: If there was one message you would impart to all students in this field what would it be?
Answer: You are in charge of your career. You are not a victim of your circumstances. How you handle yourself, who you work with, and the quality of your products will determine your success.
Table 7-1 Comparison of the Three Types of Meringues FRENCH MERINGUE SWISS MERINGUE Cream of tartar or an acid Egg whites and sugar are is added to egg whites, warmed to 120[degrees]F (49[degrees]C) which are beaten to stiff over a hot water bath. It is peaks while sugar is then removed from the heat gradually beaten in. This and beaten until cool to soft or meringue is uncooked. stiff peaks. The texture depends The final texture depends on the amount of sugar that on the ratio of sugar to is added. egg whites. Least stable. More stable. ITALIAN MERINGUE A sugar syrup that has boiled and reached 240[degrees]to 250[degrees]F (115[degrees]to 122[degrees]C) is added to partially beaten egg whites in a slow, thin stream. The mixture is beaten until it is cool and forms stiff peaks. Most stable.
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|Publication:||About Professional Baking|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2006|
|Previous Article:||Chapter 6 Eggs as thickeners.|
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