What is Meringue Powder?
Meringue powder is a dry mixture of pasteurized egg whites, sugar, and sometimes other ingredients such as cornstarch or gum. Meringue powder is a useful ingredient for bakers and pastry chefs who want to make light and fluffy meringues, icings, and other desserts without the need for fresh egg whites. It is commonly used for making royal icing, buttercream, macarons, pavlova, and other frosting or icing types. Meringue powder is also a stabilizer in whipped cream and other desserts.
Meringue powder is popular among bakers as it eliminates the need to separate egg whites from yolks and reduces the risk of foodborne illnesses associated with raw egg whites. The egg whites are usually pasteurized to remove any traces of salmonella and other harmful bacteria. It can be found in specialty baking stores or online and is often sold in small canisters or packets.
When using meringue powder, it's important to ensure your mixing bowl and beaters are completely clean and grease-free, as any residual oil can prevent the meringue from whipping up properly. It's also a good idea to start with a low speed when beating the meringue and gradually increase the speed as the mixture becomes more stable.
Does meringue powder expire?
Meringue powder has a long shelf life and can be stored at room temperature for up to two years. This makes it a convenient alternative to fresh egg whites, which can spoil quickly.
Where to buy meringue powder?
Meringue Powder can be found in specialty baking stores or online and is often sold in small canisters or packets.
How do I use meringue powder?
To use meringue powder, you must reconstitute it by mixing it with water. The ratio of powder to water varies depending on the brand and the recipe you're using. Typically, you'll need to mix 1 tablespoon of meringue powder with 2 tablespoons of water to make the equivalent of one egg white.
Is cream of tartar the same as meringue powder?
Cream of tartar and meringue powder are commonly used in baking, especially in recipes that call for whipping egg whites. While they can serve similar functions, they are different ingredients with distinct properties.
Cream of tartar is a fine white powder that is a byproduct of wine production. It is an acid, specifically tartaric acid, often used as a stabilizer or leavening agent in baking. When cream of tartar is added to egg whites, it helps to stabilize them and make them more resistant to over-whipping, resulting in a lighter and fluffier final product.
Cream of tartar is primarily an acid that helps to stabilize whipped egg whites, while meringue powder is used as a substitute for fresh egg whites. While they can be used similarly, they are different ingredients with distinct properties.
What are dried egg whites?
Dried egg whites are a great meringue powder alternative. Essentially, as described above, meringue powder is nothing more than dried egg whites with some fillers. The great thing about pure dried egg whites is that they can be used in all sorts of applications, not just baking. You can even add them to your smoothies or any time you want to boost protein in your foods.
Is meringue powder gluten-free?
Most brands of meringue powder are gluten-free, but it's always important to check the label or contact the manufacturer to be sure. None of the basic ingredients in meringue powder contain gluten. However, some brands may use additives or flavorings in their meringue powder that contain gluten. Additionally, cross-contamination is always possible in facilities that process wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients.
How to make royal icing with meringue powder
Royal Icing is a favorite of professionals who use it for frosting cakes and cookies and intricate piping. The white icing dries smooth with a hard, matte finish. Gel or liquid food coloring can be added to produce various colors. Check out our time-tested recipe for making royal icing with meringue powder.
And watch as Imperial Sugar's Brand Ambassador Bridget Edwards from Bake at 350 shows us how to decorate cookies with royal icing.
Here are some of our favorite recipes using meringue powder.
You Are My Sunshine Cookies
Classic Sugar Cookies
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