I'm a baking and pastry student at the CIA, top of my class, highly motivated and ambitious; however, an issue has risen that has made me question all of my abilities.
I'm currently on my "externship" in Sweden, living with a friend of mine while I work. I had made some lemon curd for them, and since there was extra I was going to make a simple dessert that required a meringue. I decided I'd make a stiff swiss meringue so that I could pipe it with some height.
Like the million times I've made it before, I weighed out my ingredients, 2:1 sugar to whites, put them over a double boiler (only electric stoves in this country >.<) whipped by hand until the sugar was mostly dissolved while bringing it to 140 degrees F. Once temperature was reached I immediately put it in the mixer and whipped on high till cool, roughly 10ish mins.
However, it didn't come out stiff.
I attempted to troubleshoot the issue.
Is it possible somehow I got fat into the mixture
Did I bring it to the wrong temperature
Did I measure incorrectly
Maybe I should use an acid
I did a controlled experiment today.
150g of egg whites
300g of sugar
All equipment washed, and then wiped down with ättika (a pure swedish vinegar). Whipped the entire time making sure as much of the sugar as possible was dissolved. Calibrated thermometer (also wiped with ättika) sitting in the mixture, but not touching the bowl. Immediately put on the mixer and whipped on high for 10 mins.
Results...same as before...a soft meringue that would not hold it's shape at all.
Forced to use an Electrolux Assistent, with a plastic bowl and dual whisks that rotate around a central spire. I'm thinking it's rpm is too low, or that because the motor is in the bottom below the bowl, it's preventing the mix from cooling.
I don't usually have trouble adapting, but it makes me want to hit small children...with a chair. KitchenAids cost a minimum of 900 USD here
I need a definitive reason why this is happening, or someone to tell me it's not my fault. I just feel like I'm being defeated by one of the simplest things to make and it has me so god damn frustrated.
Sorry for the longwindedness.