Exploring Meringue Varieties: Italian, Swiss, and French

While they may appear the same at first glance, each meringue recipe has its own unique character. Italian, Swiss, and French meringues each have distinct methods of preparation, and knowing these differences can help you whip up a scrumptious meringue to enhance desserts like pies, cakes, biscuits, and even soufflés. Use this guide to learn more about the various meringue varieties.

Understanding the Varieties of Meringue

Multiple meringue types exist, with the trio of French, Swiss, and Italian being the most well-known. Each varies in terms of preparation method, texture, and stability. Grasping the differences between the meringues allows you to decide the best recipe for your baking needs.

Despite the unique attributes of these three types of meringue, they all necessitate swift whipping to incorporate air. You can do this manually, but leveraging a stand mixer, hand mixer, or even a food processor can make meringue preparation a breeze. Equipped with the right tools, you can create meringue for Mini Strawberry Pavlovas and Green Tea Macarons effortlessly.


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Red KitchenAid® stand mixer making homemade meringue Red KitchenAid® stand mixer making homemade meringue

Italian Meringue

With its soft and creamy consistency, Italian meringue is deemed the most stable among the three types. Its ability to retain shape makes it a popular choice for desserts like baked Alaska or pastries.


Italian Meringue Recipe

Recognised as the most complex to perfect, the Italian meringue recipe can yield delicious desserts crowned with this fluffy Italian delight with the right approach.

Italian meringue typically begins with sugar, water, and egg whites, like most meringue recipes. The distinguishing factor lies in melting the sugar and water to create a syrup, which is gradually added to the egg whites before whipping the blend to stiff peaks. As the egg whites mingle with the heated syrup, this meringue can be enjoyed without any need for baking.


Mini pavlovas topped with sliced fruit Mini pavlovas topped with sliced fruit

Swiss Meringue

Offering a glossy and smoother finish than the French variety yet less stability than its Italian counterpart, Swiss meringue is known for its marshmallow-like flavour and texture. While it might not be as fluffy as other meringues, its weight is ideal for crafting sophisticated structured desserts like pavlova and lemon meringue pie.

Swiss Meringue Recipe

Swiss meringue preparation involves the double boiling method. By placing a heat-safe bowl over a pot of boiling water, the egg whites and sugar are gently heated until the sugar dissolves entirely. Once achieved, the mixture is whipped until stiff peaks form. Similar to Italian meringue, the egg whites in Swiss meringue are heated during mixing, allowing it to be consumed without prior baking.


Meringue cookies topped with cocoa powder Meringue cookies topped with cocoa powder

French Meringue

French meringue stands as the lightest among the three, yet it is also the least stable of the lot. It showcases a beautiful balance of delicacy and richness, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth texture that has won the hearts of many dessert enthusiasts worldwide.

It's often used in baking due to its exceptional lightness, which lends a delightful, airy texture to baked goodies. It's the meringue of choice for a variety of pastries including ethereal meringue cookies, delicate soufflés, and meringue-topped pies. Its simplicity and flexibility make it an integral part of the culinary world.

French Meringue Recipe

The French meringue is widely seen as the most straightforward recipe to follow. Contrary to Swiss and Italian meringue, the ingredients are mixed without applying heat. Egg whites are whipped until soft peaks are formed, then sugar is gradually whisked in until stiff peaks appear. Though French meringue can be made without using heat, it requires baking before it's ready for consumption.

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Whipping up Meringue in a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer: Is it Possible?

Indeed, your KitchenAid® Stand Mixer is capable of shaping each meringue. For optimal results, don't forget to use the Wire Whip Stand Mixer Accessory1, which aids in creating fluffy and voluminous meringue to crown your favourite desserts.

1. Sold separately

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Your KitchenAid® stand mixer is the helping hand you need in your kitchen to make delicious new creations. Browse the entire line of KitchenAid® stand mixer attachments and accessories to expand the baking possibilities of your kitchen.

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