Italian meringue has several uses in dessert world. It is the most versatile element when it comes to decorating cakes, mousses, tarts and other desserts. The fact that it can be piped in to any shape you like gives you space to be creative and make dessert plates look stunning. Also when burned using a torch, the meringue changes the look completely making a simple tart look elegant. It is not difficult to make Italian meringue as long as all the steps are followed correctly.
It is a mixture of egg whites and sugar just like the easy Swiss meringue, but the sugar is added as a hot syrup. The trickiest bit is to get the sugar syrup to reach 113 °C- 115 °C. Also the egg whites has to be whisked to soft peak stage before adding the syrup. The best way to do this is to start whipping the egg whites when sugar syrup reaches 110 °C. Use a candy thermometer to read the temperature. As soon as the temperature is right, you can start beating the egg whites again and drizzle the syrup until every thing is combined. The mixing ball will feel very warm to touch at this stage. Keep whisking on high speed until the bowl feel cold to touch. By this time the meringue will be looking nice and shiny and thick.
Do not leave it for too long as it will deflate. The firm meringue is stable and could be piped to any shape. You can either burn it using a blow torch or leave it as it is.
Any left overs can be baked in a slow oven to make meringue kisses, bird nests or mini pavlovas. To do this, use a pastry bag fitted with a tip of your chose and pipe small kisses on to a lined baking tray or a silicon mat. Then bake the in 120 °C oven for about two hour and then let them dry out in a switched off oven. Remove when done. Store in a air tight container.