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Toasted Meringue Cake - Help ASAP

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I am making this toasted meringue wedding cake for a customer and i have 2 questions:
#1 - how do yuo apply the meringue and get this swirly pattern? piping or just with an offset spatula?

#2 - do you just use a regular hardware store torch?
post #2 of 29
You could pipe it on or use a spatula depending on how you want it to look in the end. And yes, you can use a regular propane torch from the hardware store!
post #3 of 29
That is beautiful. Do you think that's a true meringue? I thought meringues weren't a very study frosting from a sitting out perspective.

Would love some insight on this. I love meringue in general but worry about how long they can sit out etc.
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post #4 of 29
It looks so concise like an impressions mat. Absolutely stunning - not that I'd attempt anything like this ever but I think if you started with a background of swirls with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula then overpiped with icing, you'd get pretty close. Are you using boiled icing? How on earth will you keep the icing on in this heat??
post #5 of 29
Agreeing with sillywabbitz.....a "true" meringue would surely break down VERY quickly, as it does on a pie, for instance. What type of meringue is this, being used on a cake? It is a unique and lovely technique though.
Friends don't let friends buy grocery store cakes.
Friends don't let friends buy grocery store cakes.
post #6 of 29
I have used a meringue that is very stable like what I would guess is on that cake. It doesn't sweat like the kind you put on a pie. I've piped in on cupcakes and used it for funky spikey decoration on cakes.It's just like what you would use for a Swiss meringue buttercream without the butter.
Whisk together 2 parts sugar and 1 part egg white over a double boiler until it reaches a temp of 140 F. Or until all of the sugar crystals have dissolved. Whip in mixer bowl with a little vanilla until stiff peaks. Tastes just like marshmallows!
post #7 of 29
First, I want to point out that eggs must be taken to 160 degrees to be safe. If you are selling this product, be sure to comply with standard food safety practices.

The strongest of the meringues is Italian Meringue... essentially IMBC without the butter. There are also varying strengths and durability by manipulating the few ingredients, but all will be striong IF you calibrate your thermometer. I take my syrup to 245 degrees.

I use a kitchen torch. They are lightweight and can be set to very low flames to get the exact finished effect. Meringue goes from pretty to burned in a split second.
post #8 of 29
Thanks scp117 for the info on heating the syrup to the higher temp. I didn't know that would improve the stability. I will give this a try. I was reading online about some of this stuff so for anyone interested. The meringue we put on pies is called French Meringue and the meringue that holds up as scp117 mentioned is called Italian Meringue.

I am dying to try a cake like this nowicon_smile.gif
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post #9 of 29
Egg whites do not have to be taken to 160 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe. 140 is the temp needed to kill bacteria, and is the temp used in pasteurization. But don't take my word for it. Check the recipes from Epicurious, Martha Stewart, Smitten Kitchen, and hundreds more. It would be nice for once to give someone some advice about something without all the know-it-alls coming out of the woodwork!
post #10 of 29
I'm arguing the temp because I have not looked it up. But just a heads up for everyone out there, many of the recipes on Epicurious, Martha, food network and other website require refrigeration and they do not state it in the actual recipes. I've seen it time and time again that things like pumpkin pie which is a custard based pie requires refrigeration (see FDA guidelines) but you won't see that in any of the online recipes. I generally go with the FDA rules (also found in most food safety course) and not what is posted on the net in general. There is just too much mis-information out there.
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post #11 of 29
lovingspoonful, you are incorrect. No one should get their food safety requirements from Martha Stewart and Food Network... or CC. It is posted and easily found on the egg board site, the FDA, and the USDA site. When looking up food safety, be sure that it if from the official board, .gov, .edu, or USDA and FDA. These are your only true sources. The local HD's also use these sites as their standards. A quick call to your local HD will give that magic number.

Sleepy, I sent you some recipes I use.

On Warren Brown's IMBC (Italian meringue is what you get in IMBC before you add the butter, same with Swiss), I use his 245 degrees, but I do a few more things and the IM is beautiful befor the butter inclusion. I add one yolk, add 1/4 tsp cream of tartar for each white after it foams (before actually inhibits structure), add a squirt of corn syrup in humid weather, and I mix about 5 minutes after it becomes room temp. I then get an Italian meringue that is difficult to remove from the whisk attachment. This is some strong Italian Meringue and will hold up well.

For those of you using the Swiss method, it does not hurt to take it to 160. I do it all the time.

For these methods to be at their best, be sure to calibrate your thermometers at least once a month. A few degrees will greatly affect sugar work.
post #12 of 29
I agree that it doesn't hurt to take the temp to 160. But I have worked with numerous pastry chefs who temp to 140, besides the others that I stated previously. Also, your method may not be taking the whites to 160. Here is an article from the egg safety section of the Incredible Edible Egg website.

The egg whites in an Italian meringue (made by adding hot sugar syrup to egg whites while beating them) do not reach much above 125° F, so this method is not recommended, except for dishes that are further cooked. If, however, you bring the sugar syrup all the way to the hardball stage (250 to 266° F), the whites will reach a high enough temperature. You can use a sugar syrup at hardball stage for Divinity and similar recipes.

If I recall, you stated that you bring your syrup to 245. How can you be sure you are reaching 160?
post #13 of 29
Correction, I put add another yolk, it another white.

Loving spoonfull, if you want to argue a known fact that anyone can look up, go ahead. I don't care what you do. But it is wrong to come on a public forum and spread food safety information that is incorrect. Eventually these posts become search results and someone will assume this is the correct number.

So please before anyone assumes the wrong number, look it up yourself. The number is 160!!! If you are selling these products, you will want to not only comply with HD guidelines, but if you are ever questioned about a food-related illness associated with an event where your products were present, spouting off your FDA/USDA/Egg Board knowledge and practices will go a long way in getting you out of the hot seat. Spouting out Martha Stewart and Chef Somebody will not help.

In every situation, it is very easy to get to 160. Go slowly so that a big heat surge does not cook your egg. I do this all the time. I have even found a way to safely make original Key Lime pie.
post #14 of 29
Forgot, sleepy, I sent you another PM. Thanks for pointing out my yolk error.
post #15 of 29
Thanks for clarifying Scp, I was so confused on where the heck I was putting an egg yolk!
I'm assuming the corn syrup is added to the sugar and water before heating to 245? I've read that this will also help with crystalization, although I've never had that problem before.
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