Is There Any Way To Fix Merengue Icing

Baking By StormyHaze Updated 25 Sep 2011 , 10:50pm by Marianna46

StormyHaze Posted 23 Sep 2011 , 3:10am
post #1 of 16

--if it has sugar that hasn't dissolved properly?

I have a lovely recipe for meringue, but for some reason, twice in a row, the sugar didn't dissolve properly and the texture was so grainy! Im wondering (if it happens again), is there a way to save it? It was extremely stiff, so i added some warm water thinking it would help dissolve the grins, and it did a little. I also put the mixer bowl in a bigger bowl filled with warm water. That also helped a little.

Do you have any advice?

15 replies
scp1127 Posted 23 Sep 2011 , 5:16am
post #2 of 16

If you have a digital thermometer, it sounds like it is out of calibration. Test it at boiling 212 derees. I've had two go out. I finally started looking at what celebrity chefs were using and it was almost always the $20 Taylor with the glass tube. That one has remained perfect.

KoryAK Posted 23 Sep 2011 , 7:28am
post #3 of 16

Are you making SMBC or IMBC? If IMBC, it sounds more like your sugar is crystallizing, not failing to dissolve. Different solution.

scp1127 Posted 23 Sep 2011 , 12:32pm
post #4 of 16

I suggested the thermometer because she said it is a favorite recipe. The issue of dissolving would be more of a new person's issue, wouldn't it? I've never had it crystalize, so I don't know what it looks like. I prevent it by wet brushing the sides and leaving it alone.

I threw that thermometer issue out there because I didn't realize that those didgtals would go out of calibration. I thought they would just blank out if they broke. After two digitals... one the top rated, I gave up. It wasn't worth a ruined recipe. My digital oven is off too. On my personal oven, I have the internal thermometer that you can put into the meat and have it alert and turn off when the temp is reached. When the thermometer is off, this whole system fails and cuts off the oven at the wrong time.

StormyHaze Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 2:36am
post #5 of 16
Originally Posted by KoryAK

Are you making SMBC or IMBC? If IMBC, it sounds more like your sugar is crystallizing, not failing to dissolve. Different solution.

Not buttercream. There was to be no butter or flavoring involved. :/

And.. What would the solution be?

I believe i used some candy thermometer i got at michaels, and it wasnt digital. Im very confused as to what happened.

I made sure the water didn't touch the bottom of the bowl when whisking the white and sugar and tartar , i made sugar the stand mixer and its attachments were complelty free of bits of fat, and i whipped the mixture in the stand mixer until the bottom of the bowl was cool. Is there something about this i am missing? And Again, ive made this recipe before quite a few times, and have no idea what i could be doing differently.

scp1127 Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 2:55am
post #6 of 16

If it's a tube thermometer, I don't think it can be wrong. If it is in a metal casing, it could slip, but that can be fixed. Calibrate it to 212, boiling. Did you change sugar brands? Off brands can have irregular granules. The large granules may not be melting. To fix this, you can run the sugar through your processor. If it is Domino's, that isn't the problem.

imagenthatnj Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 3:18am
post #7 of 16

I'm as confused as KoryAK as to what you're making. I know you're not making Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) and you're not making Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC) from your answer to her (no butter involved).

But are you making Swiss Meringue? Or are you making Italian Meringue? Or just a classic meringue?

For Swiss Meringue, you put together the whites and sugar in a bowl and whisk while they heat up and then whip in the mixer. (It looks like this is what you're doing, so there should be no crystallization of anything?). In this case you should make sure your sugar completely dissolves in the mixture before you put it in the mixer.

For Italian Meringue, you put water and sugar to boil to 248 degrees F, while at the same time you're whipping the egg whites in the mixer. Then when your syrup is ready, you add it to the egg whites.

And for the classic meringue, which is referred to as French Meringue (SCP, correct me if I'm wrong), you just whip the egg whites, add cream of tartar and the sugar gradually and continue whisking until lthe meringue is smooth and glossy.

Looks like you're making Swiss? Yes?

scp1127 Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 4:00am
post #8 of 16

She is just making meringue like the classic 7 minute frosting. I use it to top my lemon meringue cupcakes because I can brown it with the torch.

The French buttercream is exactly like IMBC, but with the yolks.

imagenthatnj Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 4:11am
post #9 of 16

French buttercream is like the IMBC but with yolks, yes. I was asking her about French Meringue (fine white sugar is beaten into egg whites), not French Buttercream.

Hope everything works out. I've never made the 7 minute frosting.

scp1127 Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 4:24am
post #10 of 16

Oh, I'm not familiar with french meringue, but we may be talking about something similar. And I was wrong, I use Italian meringue to brown. 7 minute is 7 minutes on a double boiler, I think with a hand mixer. It is sugar, cream of tartar, and sugar. It's an old 1950's type recipe. Very shiny and billowy on a cake. It's a very pretty frosting. Back then you saw it on Devil's food cakes. This is before my time, but I had my head in recipe books since I could read. I read all of my mom's and randmothers'.

imagenthatnj Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 4:41am
post #11 of 16

No worries. That "French Meringue" term always confused me, and that's why I said correct me if I'm wrong. lol. It's just plain meringue, I think, egg whites beaten with sugar.

I think I've had the 7 minute frosting. My boyfriend's mother (who's 72 years old) brought a cake for my birthday once and had that frosting you describe. It was delicious.

OK, not hijacking this thread anymore. Hope you can help the OP.

stormrider Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 4:53am
post #12 of 16

The tube thermometers can be off too - I just bought one from Michaels last week and when I tested it in boiling water it was off by 10 degrees. Definitely check your thermometer and then whenever you use it just add (if it's too low) or subtract (if it's too high) the amount that it is off from 212 degrees in boiling water,

scp1127 Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 4:58am
post #13 of 16

I haven't used one of the tubes in years, but I guess they can slip too. But you are right. Unlike the digitals that can be all over the place, the tubes and the ones in the metal casings will always be off the same amount.

Marianna46 Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 6:28am
post #14 of 16

My mother's favorite frosting was the good old 7-minute frosting. She would use it to ice angel food cake, my dad's favorite. If that's the one the OP is making, there's no thermometer involved - you just beat the egg whites, the sugar and the cream of tartar in a double boiler with a hand mixer over a flame for seven minutes. It's more llikely a problem with the sugar, but putting the sugar through the blender should solve the problem. It could also be that the flame is too high under the double boiler, but I don't think so.

scp1127 Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 1:00pm
post #15 of 16

Your'e right Marianna... no thermometer. I haven't made that frosting in so long. But it really is a good one. People who dislike both ABC and the Europeans may like this. But the frosting method would have to be conducive to the consistency of the frosting. I don't know if you can color it.

Marianna46 Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 10:50pm
post #16 of 16

My mom colored it all the time, but with those watered down McCormick food colors they used to sell in the grocery store (maybe they still do - I just haven't had the need for them in so long, I haven't noticed!). But I don't see why you couldn't color it with the dyes we all use. Wow, this was a taste from my childhood (and believe me, I'm no spring chicken). I'm getting a hankering for it all over again. I may be forced to make some soon! Oh, yes, there's one more ingredient (besides love, LOL!) and that's vanilla. You put it in at the end, after you take it off the stove.

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