Meringue powder is a popular cooking ingredient that you can use to incorporate the lovely meringue flavor into a recipe. It is seen as a healthy and risk-free component that can improve a recipe’s taste effortlessly.
However, meringue powder isn’t readily available everywhere, and it doesn’t work for all dishes. In some cases, substitutes are required.
So, what is the best substitute for meringue powder? The ideal substitute for meringue powder is egg whites. Both taste similarly, and they work for almost the same types of dishes. While you will need to do some more work to make egg whites perfect, you’ll find that they work like a charm when expertly prepared.
An Overview of Meringue Powder
Meringue powder is a dry, powdered ingredient that adds some volume and texture to meringue-based recipes. From pavlova and meringues to macarons and more, this powder is an interesting feeding addition.
You make meringue powder with egg whites, which will be whipped, dried, and pulverized into a powder. From there, you can use the powder to achieve the proper texture and appearance of your dish. Meringue powder has a lovely taste, which it easily adds to any dish or recipe you combine it with.
While you can find meringue powder in stores, you can also make some on your own if you’ve got the time.
Many consider meringue powder to be a healthy alternative to things like vegetable oil, butter, and sugar for dishes. It is free of calories and fats, so you can add it to desserts, mixed drinks, and hot chocolate.
By far, the most popular meringue powders are those gotten from egg whites. However, in cases where eggs aren’t always in supply, others have made egg-free meringue powder. Known as “Perfect Meringue Powder.” This non-egg option is soy-based. It is also pretty ideal for desserts, although it seems to shine most as a leavening option for custards.
All in all, meringue powder has everything you need for a food garnish. It’s healthy, abundant, and easy to find. The fact that you can use it in various dishes improves its allure even more.
Why Replace Meringue Powder?
- Can’t find any: If you can’t find any meringue powder and are facing a time crunch, you’ll need to get a suitable substitute.
- You don’t like the taste of eggs: Some people don’t like how eggs taste generally. It is a rare case, but it calls for a substitute as well.
- Egg allergies: Found mostly in children, egg allergies are quite common. To bypass this, you could get a substitute for meringue powder for your dishes.
Options for Meringue Powder Substitutes
Best Overall Substitute for Meringue Powder: Egg Whites
When it comes to flavor, nothing acts as a more ideal substitute for meringue powder than egg whites. You can also use egg whites for several of the same applications as meringue powder, so there’s no friction between the two. In fact, egg whites were the preferred option for decades before the invention of meringue powder. So, you could simply be making a throwback dish here.
The only slight problem you might find with egg whites will be whipping up large amounts of meringue from egg whites like you would with meringue powder. However, you could even make a much better end product with egg whites with some skill than with the actual meringue powder.
Most food experts and enthusiasts will recommend using lemon juice or cream of tartar to stabilize your egg whites when making meringue. Both ingredients will prevent the development of strong protein bonds in the egg whites, thus restricting the expulsion of water. So, the egg whites won’t end up collapsing on themselves.
You can also use different options for egg whites. These include the use of pasteurized egg whites and the separation of whole eggs. Note that the latter method might lead to more waste, except you’ll like to use the egg yolks.
As for application, keep in mind that egg whites aren’t a one-to-one substitute. You will most likely need to replace two tablespoons of meringue powder with one egg white. However, if you’re using the pasteurized egg whites, take three tablespoons instead and use them to replace two tablespoons of the meringue powder. This ratio should help you maintain the flavor and ensure that you don’t miss out on anything.
Best Substitute for Baking: Egg White Powder
Egg white powder works as an adequate substitute when you’re making meringue cookies. In fact, most experts see it as the ideal replacement in most baking recipes. It offers the egg white part that has made meringue powder so popular, and you can use it the same way you would egg whites.
However, the most significant difference between meringue powder and egg white powder is that the latter is used primarily to replace egg whites instead of meringue powder, which replaces the entire meringue ingredient profile. Still, egg white powder can provide almost everything you need from meringue powder.
Both work in the same baking recipes. Egg white powder is also safe since it’s pasteurized. You will need to add some sweeteners and stabilizers, but that shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Best Egg-Free Substitute: Aquafaba
If you’re looking to get a meringue powder substitute without any egg components, then aquafaba is the right choice for you.
Generally, aquafaba is a liquid in which you make legumes. Think of it as the water you drain from chickpeas before you convert the latter into hummus. You can use this water and whip it up into a stiff foam – the same way you do with egg whites. Aquafaba is a famous substitute for vegan egg whites.
You could simply use it as a substitute for the egg white component, and you can pretty much make it yourself. When you get a legume, just reserve the water you use in cooking it.
For proportion, you can use 1½ cups of aquafaba as a substitute for one cup of meringue powder. Use it the same way you would apply egg whites. So, you can add some sweeteners to improve its taste.