Monday, April 25, 2011

Italian Meringue, post macaron class...

1st Attempt

1) Used thermometer to measure temperature of sugar syrup.
2) Sugar caramelized although thermometer said it was at 116C, which is about right.
3) In my haste, and absolute bad estimation of what 30 seconds was, i added in the hot sugar into the egg whites and i got scrambled candied omelette in the electric mixer. Fail max.
4) Hard time washing up. And formulating how NOT to mess up the second time. Washing off hard sugar off surfaces ain't easy.

2nd Attempt

1) Used thermometer to measure temperature of sugar syrup. This time, was more careful with the fire, and allowed the temperature to slowly creep up till 116C. Still caramelized around some corners. :(
2) Added it to the eggs in hope that a little browned sugar wouldn't hurt.
3) Wrong.
4) When the sugar hit the cool eggs, the sugar became solid blocks of candy swirling around in my bowl.
5) :(
6) I did achieve a meringue for my pains, but decided that having hard lumps of candy in my meringue won't be nice in my macarons.

3rd Attempt

By now, i am a little cheesed off at myself but i'm not giving up. This time, i decided to use another chef's methodof gauging if the syrup was done. I used her instinctive method of sticking a fork in to syrup and then seeing if i can blow out bubbles from the fork thongs. I had highly doubted if i could even be able to do that cos i... uh, felt inadequate. Not that i doubted her logic, since i've seen her do it.

1) So this time, i did the same thing again, slow but not that slow a fire.
2) Realized egg whites were not beating up into foam cos there was too little in the bowl bah. Added a bit more egg whites.
3) Behold! I tested the syrup at a few points and discovered that I COULD blow bubbles when it was right! I WAS SO PLEASED. And the sugar was NOT caramelized. Geez. No need for troublesome thermometers that clatter about and now i really don't trust this made in china one i bought. Sigh. Money wasted. Next time, if i ever do want to get a cooking thermometer, i should get the infrared type since they don't rely on sitting in the pot and that can cause the tip of the thermometer to touch the bottom of the pot and mess up everything.
4) Added the slightly cooled (30seconds) syrup to the eggs. No mishaps. No cooked eggs, no sugar crystals. Just, nice firm and glossy meringue ready to use.

Third time's a charm, huh?

Lets see how these italian macs turn out... It's my first time making them after those mac classes i've had which taught me a new thing or two. :)

Update: the macs turned out very nice. :) Some still had lopsided feet for some strange reason, but otherwise, they were really nice! :DD

Update: i think the lopsided feet are caused by my uneven and heat warped baking pans! Dargh. Also... italian meringue macs tend to be hollow inside. Sheesh. So the first batch that i made that turned out so nice was simply due to beginner's luck eh.


Lucille♥Love said...

Wah...sugar also must use thermometer....

joline said...

yeap... apparently different temps mean different textures. the sugar gets firmer and harder as the temp increases... so it makes a big difference to the meringue when the sugar syrup is either firm or watery. so knowing what temp it's at is important... except that this thermometer didn't work for me. :( or i wasn't skilled enough or something. either way, i'm sticking with the bubble fork test.

Lucille♥Love said...

ah...when can we have home tea session?,,,,

joline said...

dunno yet. still trying to churn out a draft my sup is happy with enough to send in for examination.

zzen said...

GO FOR ITTTTTTT. Joline, i know u can do it. just charge forward.i know u can finish it beautifully

Joline said...


thanks girl. thank you for your belief in me. :) it's people like you who really help put a smile on my face when i am busy every day at the computer trying to get this thing sorted out.

Anonymous said...

GOOOOO go Joline!!