We are experiencing cracking of our meringue shells during baking Why is this

When the sugar concentration in the albumen mix increases from 2 : 1 to 3 : 1 the tendency increases for meringue shells to crack. If baking is carried out for short periods of time at high temperatures the problem is accentuated because the albumen on the surface coagulates earlier. Being hard and inflexible it cannot move with the pressure created by the still expanding centre and so the surface cracks.

The vapour pressure of the sugar solution decreases as the strength of the solution increases. This means that as the sugar concentration increases, moisture will evaporate more slowly during drying or baking and will contribute to the problem.

Reducing the sugar concentration to 1 kg to 400 ml albumen should help. Reducing the baking temperature will also have a beneficial effect.

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