Hand mixers are suitable for most mixing tasks, but can you make meringue with a hand mixer?
Yes, you can make meringue with a hand mixer by using the balloon whisk attachment. However, the hand mixer should operate at high speed to thoroughly mix the ingredients of the meringue. It should have a powerful motor and run at a high speed to achieve the right texture and produce stiff peaks.
Let’s talk about this in more detail.
- What Is Meringue?
- How To Make Meringue With A Hand Mixer?
- How Long Does It Take To Make Meringue With A Hand Mixer?
- Can You Make Italian Meringue With A Hand Mixer?
- Can You Make Swiss Meringue Buttercream With A Hand Mixer?
What Is Meringue?
Meringue is a sweet and fluffy foam made by beating egg whites with sugar.
Variations of the recipe may include more ingredients like corn starch, cream of tartar, or vanilla essence and use different preparation techniques.
You can use meringues in many ways — eat them on their own, use them to decorate a cake or pie; the options are endless.
They are one of the easiest and most versatile desserts.
Interestingly, the key ingredient of meringue is egg white.
Now, egg whites have a watery texture and no color.
However, their consistency changes when you beat them with sugar at high speed.
They become viscous and stiff. As the texture changes, so does the color. The transparent mixture turns glossy white.
Once a meringue achieves the desired consistency, you should quickly bake it as it can sink if you leave it out for long.
In a good meringue, the egg whites will be rigid. They will stand upright without collapsing.
They will not shift even when you tilt the bowl.
Additionally, the mixture will not have any watery liquid at the base.
It will be a marshmallow-like fluff with a smooth and silky texture.
Now, the trick to achieving the perfect meringue consistency is to properly and thoroughly mix the ingredients until they are well-combined.
You should also stop the mixing process after achieving the right texture.
The easiest way to whip up airy meringue is to use a stand mixer.
However, a hand mixer will do when you don’t have a stand mixer. It’s the more affordable and often practical alternative.
You can even make good meringue with a handheld whisk, but it can take more time and is tougher.
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How To Make Meringue With A Hand Mixer?
You can use a hand mixer to make both stiff and soft meringue. The recipes for both will vary slightly.
As the name suggests, soft meringue has a delicate and airy texture with light, curly peaks.
It will melt back into itself quickly. You can use it for cake frosting and pies.
Meanwhile, a stiff meringue will hold its shape for longer. You can use it to prepare meringue cookies or Pavlova.
For both types of meringues, you will begin by beating the egg whites at a low speed.
Use the whisk attachment of the hand mixer for it.
Once the egg whites start foaming, add the sugar.
You should add it gradually, one spoon at a time, and continue to beat the mixture.
Check if the sugar has dissolved by rubbing the mixture between your fingers. It should be smooth and not gritty.
Add more sugar only after the previous addition has dissolved.
Beat the meringue ingredients until the mixture develops thick glossy peaks.
At this stage, you can increase the speed of the mixer to medium or even high.
This will reduce the time required to make the meringue.
When you lift the beater out of the bowl, the peaks should hold their shape and stand upright.
The mixture should also be soft and smooth when you touch it.
For soft meringue, the procedure is similar.
However, you should add chilled cornstarch at the end and fold it into the meringue.
How Long Does It Take To Make Meringue With A Hand Mixer?
With a powerful hand mixer, you can make a big bowl of meringue in less than ten minutes.
However, it’s important to follow the necessary precautions.
Some factors that affect the quality of meringue are:
1. The eggs used in the meringue.
Did you know that you can make better meringue with old eggs than fresh ones?
You can also speed up the whipping process by using eggs at room temperature.
So if you store your eggs in the refrigerator, keep them outside till they are at room temperature before using them in a meringue.
Also, make sure that the egg whites are free of any traces of yolk.
Even the slightest presence of yolk can slow down the process.
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2. The utensils used for the meringue.
It’s easier to make meringue in deep and clean bowls.
Ensure that there isn’t the slightest trace of oil or egg yolk in the mixture before you beat it.
If present, it can prevent the egg whites from foaming. Also, clean the beater attachments thoroughly before using them.
Meringues take longer to prepare when the environment is hot or humid.
You may find that they don’t achieve the desired airy consistency on a humid or rainy day.
Can You Make Italian Meringue With A Hand Mixer?
Egg white and sugar are the key ingredients in any meringue.
However, you can combine them in different ways and add other ingredients to create different types of meringues.
Hence the names French, Italian, and Swiss meringue.
Now, Italian meringue is made by drizzling warm sugar syrup into egg whites that have already been beaten into stiff peaks.
To make Italian meringue, you will not add the sugar in batches while beating the egg whites.
Instead, you will add it all at once after beating the egg whites into stiff peaks.
You can make Italian meringues with a hand mixer.
However, the tricky part is getting the temperature of the sugar syrup correct.
It should be precise for thorough mixing and perfect consistency.
You can use a candy thermometer to accurately measure the temperature of the sugar syrup.
When done right, Italian meringues are voluminous, soft, and silky.
It has a soft, creamy texture that makes it perfect for frostings, pies, mousses, and ice creams.
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Can You Make Swiss Meringue Buttercream With A Hand Mixer?
Swiss meringue buttercream is incredibly rich, buttery, and airy.
It’s delicious and a perfect frosting for decadent cakes and other luxurious desserts.
Swiss meringue buttercream is also not overly sweet.
Basic Swiss meringue buttercream uses only sugar, egg whites, butter, and flavoring like vanilla as ingredients.
You can prepare it with a hand mixer.
The process begins as usual by combining egg whites and sugar using the whisk attachment of a hand mixer.
However, the rest of the process will be done on the stovetop.
After combining the ingredients in the bowl, you should continue mixing it in a bowl placed over a saucepan with simmering water.
The water shouldn’t touch the base of the bowl. It should only gently warm the ingredients.
In eight to ten minutes, the gentle heat from the simmering water will combine the egg whites and the sugar.
You will first have a thick, tacky mixture.
At this stage, you can increase the mixer speed and continue whisking till you have a thin and frothy liquid.
Once you achieve this consistency, take the mixture off the heat and whip it using the hand mixer.
Continue whipping until it forms stiff, rigid peaks and a glossy white appearance.
The peaks should hold their shape and not drop down when you take the beater out of the bowl.
Finally, add the butter in small quantities and beat it thoroughly till it is well combined.
You can also add flavors like vanilla to the mixture at this stage and mix it in.