Meringues

Meringues are amazing! How can 4 simple ingredients come together to make such a magnificent food? It’s one of life’s little wonders. 🙂

When I want the perfect dessert, it is not complete without a meringue sitting jauntily on top. The sweet, tangy crunch of the outside juxtaposes with the soft, tenderness within and a second after it hits your tongue, ZING! it hits you with a bit of unexpected sharpness. What’s not to love? They are delightful on their own, but they really shine as soft, pillowy clouds on deep, dark chocolate pots de crème. (An added bonus is that while the pots de crème use 6 egg yolks, the meringues use 6 egg whites so there is no waste! Yippee!)

If you want to make meringues, do so on a very dry day. If there is even a hint of precipitation, forget it. Luckily, where I live is arid most of the year, so I can indulge in these whenever I want. Indulging often isn’t really a problem since they contain NO fat and are only 74 calories. WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN!

Let’s begin with 6 room temperature egg whites in a metal bowl.

egg whites

Using a handmixer, beat the eggs until they are frothy.

foam

Town, I bet you thought I didn’t have a mixer since I’m usually insistent on using a fork or spoon. Surprise! Thing is, for most dishes a mixer is not necessary and just an extra implement to wash. I treat most dishes as a free bicep workout, but meringues need to be beaten a LOT so for them I haul out my electric hand mixer.

Add 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Mix it in well.

Add 1 1/2 cups white sugar, a little at a time while mixing on high speed. How do you know when to stop beating them? Dip a finger in and rub the mixture between two fingers. If it feels sandy, you aren’t done. Another indicator is the firm peaks that form whenever you move the mixer around:

stiff peaks

Now is the time to add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and beat that in.

Get out two baking sheets and cover them loosely with parchment paper. Set the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using two spoons, transfer large dollops of meringue onto the parchment paper. It should make 16 generous clouds of fluffy meringue goodness.

on parchment paper ready to bake

I sprinkle a tiny bit of ground cardamom on the top for a peppery finish.

Slide the baking sheets into the oven. Set the timer for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Once the timer has counted down, take them out of the oven and carefully lift each one off the parchment paper (you don’t want them to stick to the paper afterwards) and then put them back down in a slightly different spot. The meringues will need to sit in the oven overnight to dry.

done

I can never restrain myself, so I ate two of them right away with a chocolate pot de crème. 🙂

the perfect complement

Bon appetit!

Nutrition:

  • Calories: 74
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbs: 18.2g
  • Protein: 1.3g
Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Meringues

  1. Funny I never use cream of tartar with mine. I just love beating egg whites and sugar to impossible volumes and then using various flavours such as vanilla or peppermint, sometimes just cocoa or coffee…

    I miss being able to make those because it rains mostly where I am heading!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s