Photo: Nicole Franzen
2 1⁄2 tablespoons water
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Fill a medium saucepan with about 1 1⁄2 inches of water, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Place the water, egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla in a metal mixing bowl. (use the mixing bowl of a stand mixer if you have one.) Place the bowl on top of the saucepan. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
- Whisk the mixture constantly for 4 minutes or until it reaches a temperature between 160º and 165°F/71 to 73°C if using a candy thermometer. Reaching the correct temperature is the key to success. The sugar will have dissolved, and the mixture will be opaque, bubbly, and very warm to the touch.
- Carefully transfer the hot bowl to the electric mixer. using a whisk attachment, beat the mixture on high speed for 4 minutes or until it’s white and fluffy with stand- up peaks. You can toast with a cooking torch or gingerly under the broiler if you like but it’s not essential.