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Please Diagnose My Meringue Problem!


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Please Diagnose My Meringue Problem!

pilinut | | Nov 17, 2008 10:27 PM

I desperately need a light dessert for Thanksgiving, and this old favorite would be ideal if only I could avoid embarrassing myself with the shriveled meringue that has resulted the last couple of times I attempted this.

Canonigo is a desert of Spanish origin popular in the Philippines. The meringue should be fluffy, a bit more tender than the meringue in lemon meringue pie. The recipe follows, and I'd really appreciate any suggestions or corrections that will help me make an airy but stable meringue that doesn't fall as it cools (especially since I'd like to make it the day before Thanksgiving). The rum flavored custard is absolutely delicious (and very nice with fresh fruit).


1 cup sugar + 1/2 cup water, caramelized and used to line the bottoms of 2 loaf pans.
Cool the caramel and coat the caramel-lined pans with butter.

8 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

Beat whites to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and baking powder and whip to stiff peaks. Pour into the prepared pans and bake in a bain marie in a 350F oven for 30 minutes.
Cool the meringues and unmold.

While the meringue is cooking, prepare the custard:

8 yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 cup dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook the first three ingredients in a double boiler until as thick as hollandaise sauce. Remove from heat, add rum and vanilla.

What is causing my meringues to shrink? Could it be the butter? Whipping the whites too much? The humidity of the bain marie? Cooking too long or not long enough? Help!