I have included two meringue recipes. The second is a little more complex, but worth it.
Simple Meringue Icing
This recipe takes less than 10 minutes, but it does have to be done all at once. The honey must be poured into the egg whites while it is still hot or it will solidify. The hot honey also cooks the egg whites.
Heat honey in a saucepan over medium heat 5-10 minutes; until mixture bubbles and darkens. Meanwhile, separate two eggs, being very careful to avoid getting any yolk in with the whites. Add the salt to the egg whites.
Put two whites in a stand mixer with a whip attachment, or use a hand held mixer and a bowl held steady by a helper. Mix starting on medium. As the eggs start to froth, turn the mixer up to high.
At the same time you turn the mixer up to high, start pouring the honey in with a thin steady stream, taking about 1 minute to pour in the hot honey. Continue mixing on high as the icing fluffs and thickens and is cool enough to touch, 2-3 minutes.
Add the optional vanilla while mixing. Use a spatula or butter knife to frost cupcakes, or spoon into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes for a more decorative look.
The icing goes on the cupcakes or cake easiest if used within a couple hours of making.
This has a lovely, velvety texture which pipes well, and is also the base for Swiss meringue butter cream (recipe and photos to come)
You will need a candy thermometer.
Combine all the ingredients in large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a small or medium-sized saucepan with 5 cm of simmering water in it. It is important that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat the mixture till it reaches 160F/71C on a candy thermometer, whisking constantly so the eggs don’t curdle or seize.
Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to the bow of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or use a metal bowl and a hand mixture. Start whipping on low speed, gradually increasing to high over the course of 30 seconds. Continue to beat the mixture on high speed till stiff and completely cool. This could take up to 8 to 10 minutes, or longer if using a hand mixer.
The cream of tartar can be omitted or replaced with lemon juice, but cream of tartar is preferable as it helps stabilise the whipped egg whites, making the meringue more voluminous and reducing the risk of over beating.
- SIMPLE MERINGUE ICING
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 egg whites, eggs at room temperature will be easier to separate
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- SWISS MERINGUE
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (180ml) of maple syrup or light honey
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar or lemon juice
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