Friday, 6 January 2017

Swiss Meringue

I see swiss meringue as the polyfilla of an use it to cover anything, and so long as you are vaguely competent with a piping bag, the end result will have a little bit of glamour...more-so if you have a blowtorch, and quickly toast it! I think it's the easiest of the 3 meringues to make (italian meringue requires careful use of a sugar syrup, and french meringue takes forever in the oven to get them properly dried out. Swiss Meringue is also the base for a lot of other recipes (for example a meringue buttercream).

I often find myself making this alongside lemon curd, as they naturally go together, and it allows you to use the entire egg. In this case I made a lemon meringue roulade, and this recipe made enough to fill and coat the cake (with not that much left as a cooks treat!).

Swiss Meringue - Recipe


  • 3 egg whites (approximately 110g)
  • 180g caster sugar
  • ½tsp cream of tartar
1) Prepare your bain-marie. This sounds posh, but is really somewhere you can suspend a bowl over hot/boiling water, and use the heat in the steam given off to cook the mixture (these are often used when a "soft" heat is needed...often cooking egg mixtures, chocolate etc, where boiling or burning ingredients is a no-no). My "bain-marie" is actually a colander on top of a saucepan of water, over a low-medium heat.

2) Place the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl.

3) Place the bowl in the bain-marie, and using an electric hand-whisk begin to gently whisk the mixture. You're looking to get all the sugar dissolved into the egg-white, and no graininess before you start really adding the air, otherwise you can end up with a grainy meringue.

4) Once the mixture has loosened up, add the cream of tartar. This helps the mixture take on air.

5) Slowly increase the speed of the whisk and the volume of the mixture grows. Make sure that you are moving the whisk about the bowl, and evenly whipping the entire mixture

6) Once firm/stiff peaks are formed (when you remove the whisk), remove the bowl from the bain-marie. It should have a rich, smooth and pipeable texture...if the peaks are falling then keep whisking, it tends to thicken up quite quickly, so you're probably nearly there.

7) Swiss meringue is perfect for piping. Transfer the mixture to a large piping bag with a star nozzle attached.

8) Once you have piped the meringue, you can use a cooks blowtorch to gently toast it. The ridges formed by the star nozzle will brown off quickly, as will any peaks, so be careful not to burn it!