Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Take THAT, Fat In Meringue!

I recently wrote about my experiment with leaving some egg yolk in the egg whites, and how it didn't make a bit of difference as to how the meringue whipped up. The responses that I got to that were interesting, since a lot of people said that they knew that the yolk didn't matter so much, but that they were very careful about having totally fat-free bowl and whisks when they make a meringue.

Okay, so after reading about the vinegar rinse that people use to make sure their equipment is totally devoid of any fat, I got to thinking about whether that's really necessary. If the fear of the fat in the yolks has been beaten into us but that doesn't matter, what about the fear of fat on the equipment?

I took a nice finger full of butter and smeared it on the inside of the mixer bowl. You can see in the picture that there's a good deal of it on there, and if you're worried about having your utensils completely immaculate you'd think that this would be a meringue fail. I went ahead and whipped up the eggs, and guess what? Stiff peaks once again, no problems. I was making IMBC, and it came out just fine (and quite delicious, I might add.)

I have no doubt that the meringue would have been affected by a LOT more butter, but after doing this I can only assume that a little bit isn't such as big deal as everyone stresses out over. For the purposes of IMBC it worked just fine, but again, I can't vouch for how it would work if I was making a meringue to pipe. I have a feeling that it would have worked just fine, though, since the sugar syrup set the whites and there wasn't a difference in the IMBC once it was completed.

So don't worry about the vinegar rinse if you're making IMBC. Just wash your equipment normally and save the vinegar for your salads. Or you could use it to make a baking soda volcano. That's always fun.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and


Stephanie said...

I couldn't agree with you more that a little bit of fat isn't going to stop your eggs from whipping properly; but you also need to think about what you are using the egg whites for. I do make sure my equipment is completely clean when making french or italian macarons, as the fat will make a difference in a 'perfect' macaron, which we know is difficult to achieve. For beating eggs to just fold into a recipe, I wouldn't bother with scrubbing and vinegar... Thanks for sharing your experience.

Kara said...

I've never tried macarons, since I send people to my friend Veronica of Petites Bouchees for those! For the purposes of some thigns I'm sure that you need to be more careful, but for IMBC it's obviously not such a concern. Maybe I'll get brave and try some macarons with butter in the bowl just to see what happens, but I probably won't!

Anonymous said...

i'm pleasantly surprised at this discovery. one less step is very cool!
cindy/cindy's cakery