I wonder if you can make it with cotton candy, powdered whites, and butter?
Hmmm. Sounds like edible fiberglass. Wrap the cotton candy on there and slather on the meringue whipped with butter. I don’t think so.
I was trying to find the science behind the different ways of adding sugar to meringues and how they differ when I came across this link. http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1541138431 It’s the Cakelove guy demonstrating the techniques behind italian meringue. He sure makes it look easy. I just noticed; If you watch the clock on the wall behind him, he produces this batch (all be it a small batch) in just about 20 minutes start to finish. He only beats it about 5 minutes before adding the butter, so whether it cooled really quickly, because of the small volume, or he’s not that worried about it being too warm. It seems to take forever to cool for me. Oh, and check out the shimmying KitchenAid. Yet that syrup still goes right in. Entertaining and informative. But not a word about the role of the hot syrup, other than to kill any bacteria.
So, now I’m just going to tell you what I think.* (DISCLAIMER: all opinions are based on my best educated assumptions as well as extremely thorough research on the subject.(at least the first 3 or so pages on the Google search results, or 30 minutes, or when I get bored, whichever comes first.) My opinions are not to be used as the basis for scientific research, as they could be misguided or just completely wrong. No wagering, please.)
I’m sure there is some egg white coagulation going on, as the hot syrup certainly cooks something on contact.
We also know that if you are heating the syrup to the hard ball stage, it would form a . . . well, hard ball if you left it to sit.
But we don’t.
We pour it in a little tiny stream, or quick globs which are then spun around at great speed and distribute it around our lovely air bubbles encased in our coagulated egg protien. So, I guess you could imagine adding a thin layer of hardened sugar syrup to that mix and it certainly helps stabilize the whole mass.
Since the sugar shouldn’t melt until it reaches well above any humanly tolerable room temperature—(did you know that there is a MSDS - Material Data Safety Sheet - for sugar? You’ll be happy to know that they state “Thought to present no health hazard. ” under the Personal Protection section. That’s comforting.—I’m sure that that helps with the stability that you all admire so much. It must provide a scaffolding of sorts to keep the fat from sliding about when it is exposed to temperatures above its melting point.
So. I don’t think cotton candy would work. Unless the fibers are constructed within the structure, as they are when we whip in the hot syrup.
That’s my theory an’ I’m stickin’ to it.