How to make Italian meringue

Italian meringue is the most stable type of meringue as the melted sugar cooks the egg whites, resulting in a soft, glossy finish that doesn’t need to be baked in the oven. It is most often used for piping on top of pastries and desserts such as baked Alaska because it holds its shape so well.

Italian meringue always works best with double the amount of sugar to egg white so if you require a larger amount just scale up the recipe accordingly.


  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 25ml of water
  • 50g of egg white
Put the sugar and water into a small saucepan over a medium heat with a thermometer resting in the liquid
Start to slowly whisk the egg whites either in a stand mixer or with a hand-held electric whisk until just starting to foam
Heat the sugar until it reaches 121°C then slowly pour into the egg whites whilst still whisking
Turn the whisk up to full speed and whisk until cooled to room temperature – the meringue is now ready to use


When pouring the hot sugar into the egg whites, keep the stream of liquid as close to the side of the bowl as possible; this will stop it splashing and allows the syrup to cool slightly before it hits the egg whites.


For an extra dimension of flavour, add a dash of rosewater, orange essence or peppermint essence to the water for an aromatic finish.


Marcus Wareing flavours his meringues with tea in his Lemon, meringue and ice tea dessert, while Nathan Outlaw uses it in his challenging Sea buckthorn curd, meringue, yoghurt sorbet and wholemeal shortbread dessert. Tom Aiken’s Baked Alaska is the ultimate showstopper at a dinner party.

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