Many professional bakers always have meringue powder on hand. It is a convenient ingredient that can be used for many different recipes. However, those not familiar with it may ask, what is meringue powder used for?
From icing to pies, meringue powder has many uses. Since it is a powder form, it can keep for a long time, which makes it convenient and practical. It is often sold in tubs or bags, which is particularly ideal for bakeries.
What is Meringue Powder?
Meringue powder is an egg white substitute primarily made of dried egg whites. It may contain other ingredients such as corn starch, sugar, citric acid and potassium acid tartrate (cream of tartar) to help it maintain its freshness and flavor.
It is used as a substitute for recipes that call for egg whites beaten to a stiff peak. In addition, it can also be used as a stabilizer in frostings, as well as preventing drooping in certain desserts. Unlike its counterpart egg whites, which are liquid, it is a fine, white powder.
Though using fresh egg whites is often the best option for recipes, meringue powder makes a wonderful substitute. It is easy to use and is convenient when you do a lot of baking. It is also ideal if you are considered at about any health issues when it comes to using raw egg whites.
What is Meringue Powder Used for?
Meringue powder is a versatile ingredient used in many desserts. It is most commonly used for royal icing, as it gives it a lovely stiff texture that is great for piping or pouring decorations on cakes and cookies.
Many choose to use it for meringue pie toppings and meringue cookies. It gives them a wonderfully fluffy texture, just like egg whites do.
Another common use for it is adding it to frostings. It makes frosting more stable, allowing piped designs to hold their shape without weeping. This is particularly helpful for warm days, as it can help prevent the frosting from melting.
How to Use
- When you have a recipe you are looking to substitute egg whites out of a recipe, it is an easy replacement. Simply mix together two tablespoons of meringue powder with two tablespoons of water for every egg white the recipe calls for.
- For the royal icing, meringue powder, powdered sugar, and water are mixed together. Depending on how much water you add, you can make it thin for pouring or thick for piping intricate designs.
- For frostings, the amount you add will vary by type. Add about 1 tablespoon once the sugar and butter have been creamed together for buttercream frosting. When making whipped cream, you will want to add it after the cream starts to foam. Typically, you will add one tablespoon for every cup of whipped cream you are making.
- Many suggest not to use meringue powder as a baking substitute for eggs in a recipe. For cake, brownies, cookies, and bread, it is always best to use real eggs. It is made to be a substitute for eggs that are beaten to stiff peaks, not for desserts you bake.
What is the Best Substitute?
If you run out of meringue powder, fresh egg whites are always the best option to use. They provide the best foaming capabilities and will create nice stiff peaks. If you are concerned about the safety of raw egg whites, you can buy pasteurized egg whites or even pasteurize them yourself.
You can also use powdered egg whites, but they will need to be rehydrated as they don’t contain any pre-added sugar or stabilizer. You may also use aquafaba, which is the liquid from leftover cooked chickpeas, but it may have a more savory flavor.
Read more about 4 Different Alternatives To Meringue Powder For Buttercream
How to Store It
Meringue powder should be kept in a cool, dry area. To prevent any moisture from getting in, it should be kept in an airtight container. Any moisture that seeps in can ruin it.
Since it is a dehydrated product, it does not need to be kept in the fridge. This also allows it to have a long shelf life, which when stored properly it can last up to two years.
Using Meringue Powder for Desserts
Meringue powder is an egg white substitute that is great for royal icing, toppings for pies, and even cookies. It is also great for adding to different kinds of frostings, as it can work as a stabilizer.
Do you have any questions on what is meringue powder used for? If so, please ask them in the comments down below.