Meringue is a stiffly beaten mixture of egg-whites and sugar eaten as a dessert, popular in Swiss and French cuisine. It may be used as a topping for cakes, pavlova, pies or eaten raw as biscuits. Vanilla or almond and coconut extract is often added to it. Meringue is easily available in the markets and can also be made at home as it is not very time-consuming. Fine white sugar, beaten into egg whites is called French meringue.
A more stable and soft meringue made by boiling sugar syrup is called Italian meringue and is preferred in pastries because it doesn’t collapse easily. A more dense meringue is made by whisking bain marie to warm egg whites and is called swiss meringue. It is almost as dense as marshmallow.
It is mostly used as a topping on pastries, pies and other bakery items. Cookies can be made by heating meringue on low heat for a long time. To get soft meringue, it is cooked at a high temperature for a short time and is extensively used in a variety of desserts like baked Alaska and key lime pie. It can also be formed into many shapes and is used for decorative purposed on various bakery items.
It is a source of protein because of the egg white that is used and a source of carbohydrates from the sugar, but the advantage of using meringue is that it is fat free.