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Toasted Meringue Cake - Help ASAP - Page 2

post #16 of 29
scp1127.....I concede! The food safety sites give 160 F as a temp for eggwhites. Now I want to know why so many recipes say to go to 140 or even less! Are they assuming that one will be using pasteurized eggs?
I know when to give up when I am incorrect, and I apologize for hijacking the topic of this thread!
post #17 of 29
Hey Susan, can you PM that meringue recipe? I currently put toasted meringue on cupcakes but it starts to break down after 12 or so hours. My cuppies never last that long, but I'd love to make sure it lasts even longer!

lovinspoonfull, the temperature when an egg does what it's supposed to do for a recipe and the temperature an egg needs to be heated to be considered safe are two different things.

I'm not sure when the FDA changed their guidelines, but it basically was when the big outbreak of contaminated eggs happened several years ago. Prior to that, 140 degrees was accepted and the contents of eggs were considered sterile. Not so anymore. Many, many cookbooks still state 140 as A-OK, as nobody is going to re-print a billion books to change this. Also, this is a US requirement, other countries have their own guidelines for how their eggs should be handled.

Last, just like the recipes found on CC, Epicurious, Cooks.com and other websites are user-generated recipes. Just because a recipe is on there doesn't mean it's correct. Take the new "glitter" recipe posted here - it has a photo of plastic craft glitter but the instructions are to make colored sugar... and the instructions are incorrect to boot. Just because it's online doesn't mean it's right icon_biggrin.gif
post #18 of 29
lovingspoonfull, I think it was just the way our grandmothers did it. I just watched MS do meringue for her high hat cupcakes and she stated 140. Others state 115.

The issue is that when we sell to others, we need to protect ourselves, our businesses, and our assets. The true chances of a contaminated egg are slim and the chance of a trace are slimmer. I do not practice the food safety rules at home... we eat raw cookie dough, taste all batters, put raw eggs in milkshakes, and I do not make my personal Key Lime pies safe unless someone is pregnant.

But this extra step is so important. Lets pretend that the caterer had contaminated food at a wedding, which is more likely. If you are questioned and you know more about FDA safety than the HD inspector, your knowledge and authority on the subject will help eliminate you. It's just like knowing alcohol issues. I can break down every one of my recipes down to exactly what was baked off. It helps customers feel comfortable serving a dessert with a little alcohol once they can see the per serving breakdown, which sometimes just equals using vanilla extract.

If you have a home, bank account, retirement account, or other property, you are more of a target in a lawsuit than a baker who owns nothing. Insurance will only go so far in the very unlikely event that you are accused. Treat this business like any business and make sure you cover your butt.

FromScratch, it is WB's IMBC (on his Cake Love site), add an extra white per batch, add 1/8 tsp cream of tartar per white when frothy (not before or it actually breaks down the structure, read that somewhere). I add a squirt of corn syrup if the weather is humid. I have also started to heat much faster. It seems to avoid crystalization along with the corn syrup. But what I found is the best for structure is to whip it until it is extremely difficult to remove from the whisk, maybe 8 minutes after room temp. Kind of like it looks when you forget about it. I'm talking a few minutes to get it out of a Pro6 whisk. I put this on my Lemon Meringue pie and the pie weeps long before the meringue breaks down. I have had a leftover piece for a week.

Alton Brown has a great "Good Eats" about the three meringues (Egg Files, but forgot which number). It's permanently on my DVR for reference. He went over the structure of French, Swiss, and Italian. French, no heat, is the weakest, Swiss next, and Italian has the strongest structure. You may be able to find the full episode on the web. When I make meringues for my museum work, I use Italian and they are indestructible.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127


In every situation, it is very easy to get to 160. Go slowly so that a big heat surge does not cook your egg.




Given your emphasis about getting to 160 please tell us how you get your IM to 160. Neither Brown claims that their IM will make it to 160. Alton in Egg Files VII states pretty clearly that you should use pasteurized eggs because the meringues will not reach 160 (he only takes his Swiss to 140).

Warren (who does not use pasteurized eggs) makes no claim in his cookbook (I am looking at the recipe right now) And in the video of him making it he basically says don't worry because most food born pathogens will be carried in the yolk. Heck he does not even know if it reaches 140.

So please tell us how to ensure your IM reaches 160 when the syrup fails to do so. It is precisely why I make swiss because I can ensure the eggs reach 160.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake

Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127


In every situation, it is very easy to get to 160. Go slowly so that a big heat surge does not cook your egg.




Given your emphasis about getting to 160 please tell us how you get your IM to 160. Neither Brown claims that their IM will make it to 160. Alton in Egg Files VII states pretty clearly that you should use pasteurized eggs because the meringues will not reach 160 (he only takes his Swiss to 140).

Warren (who does not use pasteurized eggs) makes no claim in his cookbook (I am looking at the recipe right now) And in the video of him making it he basically says don't worry because most food born pathogens will be carried in the yolk. Heck he does not even know if it reaches 140.

So please tell us how to ensure your IM reaches 160 when the syrup fails to do so. It is precisely why I make swiss because I can ensure the eggs reach 160.



In IM, your syrup is reaching 245.
If you are really concerned with gauranteeing that your eggs reach 160 (which I am sure they do with the temp of the syrup coming to 245), you could put a thermometre in the mixing bowl after you've added the syrup to the egg whites.
Or alternatively, you could make SM and bring the entire mixture to 160.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlestruedel



In IM, your syrup is reaching 245.
If you are really concerned with gauranteeing that your eggs reach 160 (which I am sure they do with the temp of the syrup coming to 245), you could put a thermometre in the mixing bowl after you've added the syrup to the egg whites.
Or alternatively, you could make SM and bring the entire mixture to 160.



I quite familiar with how to make both IM and SM. The fact that you get your syrup to 245 does not guarantee that your eggs will reach 160. As I stated before none of the individuals referenced in this thread make that claim--quite the contrary. I will repeat what was already stated, both individuals referenced in this thread as the source of a particular recipe and as a reference never claim taking your syrup to 245 cooks the eggs to 160. Alton clearly states use pasteurized eggs as the temperature will not reach 160 and Warren says don't worry about food pathogens. You do not make these statements if 245 guarantees a 160 degree temperature for the eggs in an IM.

There are far too many factors that could prevent the a 245 syrup from cooking the eggs to 160 (how cool your kitchen is, how much time it takes from the time you remove the syrup from the stove until you start to pour it, how quickly you pour the syrup). The only way to know is to take the temperature of the eggs---which neither do and why they cannot claim it can reach 160--which neither Brown does. Thus explaining why Alton says to use pasteurized eggs and Warren say don't worry about it.
post #22 of 29
I go to 160 (you can put an instant-read thermometer in the bowl to check). I make IMBC and take the syrup all the way to 248, and I'm very close to the mixer and throw it in as soon as I can.

About the egg temperature, most pastry textbooks used in school will say what it says in this link.

http://www.georgiaeggs.org/pages/pasteurization.html

"To pasteurize recipes containing eggs, 160 degrees must be reached or 140 degrees reached and held for 3 minutes."

That's why if I ask a pastry chef, he'll tell me 140 degrees, 3 minutes. That 160 number is almost never in their heads.

I just checked my On Baking book and it says the same: "USDA guidelines indicate that pasteurization is achieved when the whole egg stays at a temperature of 140˚F for 3.5 min."

There they added a half a minute to the whole thing...lol. But that's the explanation for why people are always fighting about the 140/160 situation.

Me? just in case I go to 160, it's not hard to do. Most of the time, I just use pasteurized eggs.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlestruedel



In IM, your syrup is reaching 245.
If you are really concerned with gauranteeing that your eggs reach 160 (which I am sure they do with the temp of the syrup coming to 245), you could put a thermometre in the mixing bowl after you've added the syrup to the egg whites.
Or alternatively, you could make SM and bring the entire mixture to 160.



I quite familiar with how to make both IM and SM. The fact that you get your syrup to 245 does not guarantee that your eggs will reach 160. As I stated before none of the individuals referenced in this thread make that claim--quite the contrary. I will repeat what was already stated, both individuals referenced in this thread as the source of a particular recipe and as a reference never claim taking your syrup to 245 cooks the eggs to 160. Alton clearly states use pasteurized eggs as the temperature will not reach 160 and Warren says don't worry about food pathogens. You do not make these statements if 245 guarantees a 160 degree temperature for the eggs in an IM.

There are far too many factors that could prevent the a 245 syrup from cooking the eggs to 160 (how cool your kitchen is, how much time it takes from the time you remove the syrup from the stove until you start to pour it, how quickly you pour the syrup). The only way to know is to take the temperature of the eggs---which neither do and why they cannot claim it can reach 160--which neither Brown does. Thus explaining why Alton says to use pasteurized eggs and Warren say don't worry about it.



I'm sorry. Based on your first comment "So please tell us how to ensure your IM reaches 160 when the syrup fails to do so" I assumed that you didn't understand the process.

I also mentioned that the only way to be sure that your eggs were reaching 160 is to use a thermometre, however personally I just use pasteurized eggs because I make way more IMBC then I do anything that requires only yolks.

Personally I think it's a pretty safe bet that 245 syrup (which will continue to rise in temp even when removed from the heat) added to room temperature egg whites, will rise above 160, but you are right, no one seems to be "proving" that. The sheer fact that most if not all HD consider IMBC to be shelf stable tells me that the temperature being reached is adequate.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlestruedel


Personally I think it's a pretty safe bet that 245 syrup (which will continue to rise in temp even when removed from the heat) added to room temperature egg whites, will rise above 160, but you are right, no one seems to be "proving" that. The sheer fact that most if not all HD consider IMBC to be shelf stable tells me that the temperature being reached is adequate.



I am making a batch right now -- on a calibrated thermometer with whites at room temp and syrup at 245 on an instant read thermometer once the syrup was poured in the meringue was only 140. Highly doubtful they reach 160 with the hot syrup pouring in and thus suddenly dropped 20 degrees. This is about on par with the other time I made it. So in the interests of food safety I am curious what techniques are used to ensure the meringue gets to 160. No one that I can find makes a claim that a syrup at 245 will cook the whites to 160.
post #25 of 29
I found a section on the Incredible Edible Egg website that stated that if you take the sugar syrup all the way to the hardball stage(250-266) it will get the egg whites hot enough. Not sure what" hot enough" means though. They did not specify!
post #26 of 29
Hmm, I just realized that my recipe states to take it to 125c, which is actually 257F, so in addition to using pastuerized eggs, it would look like I am getting the syrup hot enough as well.
post #27 of 29
gator, you failed to take into consideration the chemical reaction in the IMBC process that turns the whites into a confection. And the drop in temp is definitely not what I find in my kitchen.

Instant read thermometers are sometimes, many times, out of calibration.

If you study sugar, as I do, you will find that it is incredibly hard to get sugar at that temp to lose heat. I do about 30% of my business in wholesale museum work exactly duplicating historic recipes, some 3000 years old. I have extensively studied sugar, its properties, and I have burned myself so many times that I'm sure that alone has given me expert status.

When I drop hard crack syrup onto my cold stainless steel table, even then, the temp drops very little. The table buckles and the bottom of the table will leave a bad burn even minutes later. If I take my IMBC to 255 by mistake, I must put the pot on my cold table and wait a good while for it to reach 245, just a mere 10 degrees. When making poured fondant, it take the sugar syrup (I think it is about 240 degrees) about 1/2 hour to lower 100 degrees in my cold food processor with the steel blade) food processor to 140 degrees, the temp required to process the fondant.

And please re-read my posts. I gave recipes for the three meringues. Not once did I mention AB or WB referring to food safety. So please read closely before yo call me out on a non-existent claim.

Because I am providing products nationally, I have become familiar with many aspects of food safety. If you look hard enough, every answer is on the web on an official site, such as the life of a peanut covered in sugar, the effects of sugar on egg-whites in every method (I make historical meringues and boiled sugar that also uses whites). The wholesaler, who is a historic candy expert and former professor, works closely with authenticity and I study the safety so that we don't hurt anyone. The secret is in the sugar.

gator, perhaps you put too much water in your syrup, thus causing the extreme drop due to the structure being weak. Just guessing, because it does not happen to me.

Yes, my SMBC, all custards, 7 minute frosting, and even my "original" recipe Key lime pie are all taken to 160. Not only is it safe, the structure is beautiful at these temps.
post #28 of 29
little, in addition to food safety, which you have already secured with the pasteurized eggs, the structure greatly improves at the higher temps, so you are getting a strong meringue provided that your ratios are good. Just don't let it get too high to where the properties of the sugar change again. You don't want caramel and you don't want to get near hard crack.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127


If you study sugar, as I do, you will find that it is incredibly hard to get sugar at that temp to lose heat. I do about 30% of my business in wholesale museum work exactly duplicating historic recipes, some 3000 years old. I have extensively studied sugar, its properties, and I have burned myself so many times that I'm sure that alone has given me expert status.



Frankly I have no idea why how many times you have burned yourself with sugar makes you any kind of expert on the question of food pathogens in eggs white. As someone who values research you might want to consider what those involved in the area of food science have to say on the subject.

Before going on I acknowledge that you get your information from "official" cites have to say--but official cites have never been wrong before right? Standards have never been changed? Oversight agencies have never been lobbied by industries to produce favorable standards and regulations? I'll take the science over the regulatory schemes that can be the result of any number of non-food safety interests.

Here is what one of the seminal texts on food science and molecular gastronomy has to say on the subject:

Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking: The Science and lore of the Kitchen, Scriber: 2004, p. 108.

There are two basic kinds of cooked meringues. The first (Italian) is the syrup-cooked meringue. Sugar is boiled separately with some water to 240 or 250 degrees F . . . the whites are whipped to stiff peaks and the syrup is then streamed and beaten into the whites. . . . Because much of the syrups heat is lost to the bowl, whisk, and air, the foam mass normally gets no hotter than 130 or 135 degrees F which is insufficient to kill salmonella.

Note there is an explanation of the process based on his study of food science. It is not just a claim. Interesting that this is consistent with the results I got yesterday. Note I stated the meringue never got above 140. And just to address your instaread thermometer claim, I used what is widely recognized as the premier instaread on the market--a Themapen. And yest it was calibrated---so much for that.

Paula Figoni in How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Food Science in discussing the making of Swiss and Italian Meringue warns individuals because of the dangers of salmonella to omit evaluations of taste and mouthfeel when using unpasteurized eggs. Again someone who is concerned with food science who notes the dangers of IM preparation when instructing others how to make them.

Here is the reference for you.

Paula Figoni, How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Food Science, Wiley: 2010, p. 293

Finally Glenn Rinsky and Laura Rinsky, The Pastry Chefs Companion: A Comprehensive Resource Guide for the Baking, when discussing meringues notes to guard against salmonella use pasteurized white is the meringue will not be baked. When discussing IMs note that the whipping of the whites while the sugar is being poured prevents the whites from cooking. In other words the whites are only partially cooked.

Granted not the best source but as good as the others who claim it is safe without offering a reason. And does offer an explanation of the process that is consistent with what the claims by those who study the science.

Here is the reference:

Glenn Rinsky and Laura Rinsky, The Pastry Chefs Companion: A Comprehensive Resource Guide for the Baking, Wiley: p. 180.

What also noteworthy is there is not a single food scientist that claims salmonella is rendered inactive by the light cooking of whites in the making of IMs. Oh there are plenty of pastry types and cookbooks that state the eggs will e cooked however this has already been address by posts on SMs--the information is incorrect. Why is it incorrect, because the science not what a syrup does sitting in a hot pot on the stove, or poured onto a table, or that no one has gotten sick when they make it. And isn't it curious that they offer no justification to support the claim--they simply reiterate it without a scintilla of evidence or explanation to support the claim.

All of this is consistent with the two Browns. I mentioned them because you use Warren's recipe. And his statement is don't worry because there is little risk. His statement about his buttercream is consistent with the science. It is not absolutely safe. Which is also consistent with Alton's episode which you claim to use as a reference. Your reference states it is not safe. And since he is obsessive about food safety and food science is his thing, his claims that IM is not completely safe should be heeded. Again his statement is consistent with the science. You might be on the right side of the regulations but are on the wrong side of the science.
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