Italian Sweet Meringue
Italian meringue is my favorite of all 3, popular meringues. French and Swiss meringues are good, but Italian meringue holds up better, is smoother and far superior for spreading on layer cakes, piping decoratively in a parfait glass, topped with berries or fruit and enjoyed. I even use it instead of unsweetened meringue on top of lemon pie and sandwich a thick layer between whoopie pie halves for a lighter filling. Use your imagination! This meringue is flavored easily as well. Simply add 2 ounces melted chocolate after stiff peaks have formed and fold it in. Use espresso powder for coffee flavored meringue or use an extract or food coloring of your choice.
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Italian Sweet Meringue Directions
Begin by beating egg whites until soft peaks form; set aside.
Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until it reaches soft ball stage, which is 238-degrees F if using a candy thermometer. You can also do this without a thermometer by simply allowing mixture to boil for 3 minutes and drizzling a drop or two on a plate. Allow to cool for a couple of seconds and touch it. If it is really sticky and almost "glues" your forefinger and thumbs together when touching, it is ready.
With the beater running on high speed, slowly and carefully drizzle the hot simple syrup into the egg whites while continuing to beat. After all the hot syrup has been added, continue to beat for 2 minutes, or until the meringue has cooled to room temperature and is glossy and stiff peaks have formed.
Use as desired or cover and refrigerate for the day until needed.
NOTE: This meringue doesn't hold up well for any longer than 24 hours. It begins to separate and when that happens, you cannot bring it back to the same consistency.