Originating in Switzerland, meringue is a voluptuous, sweet and light mixture of egg whites and sugar. There are three types of meringues. French meringue consists of egg whites and icing sugar whipped over a bain-marie and baked; the Swiss meringue is beaten egg whites to which sugar is added, its consistency is a lot drier and crumbly. Italian meringue is naturally cooked as a hot sugar syrup is slowly added while the egg whites are being whipped. This adapted version does not require the sugar syrup, as the sugar and eggs are cooked through the heat of the mixing bowl. It can be used or consumed without being baked as a topping for a Norwegian omelette (aka Baked Alaska), cupcakes, pies or desserts (Rhubarb Meringue); and to lighten pastry cream (Crème Mémée), mousses (Frozen Chocolate Soufflé) or butter cream. It can also be baked into little treats, crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. A perfectly clean and dry mixing bowl free of any traces of fat is a must for a successful meringue; also ensure that the egg whites are free of any yolk, which is another form of fat and would stop them from rising. The pinch of salt or cream of tartar acts as a stabiliser and will give a better result. Lastly, it is important to add the sugars very slowly for a silky-smooth and glossy mixture.