“Comedy just pokes at problems, rarely confronts them squarely. Drama is like a plate of meat and potatoes, comedy is rather the dessert, a bit like meringue.” ~ Woody Allen
Strangely enough we had love – hate relationship towards meringues. At times it wins our heart with its fruity raspberry flavour, leaving us amazed and at other times it simply convulsed us with the strong lemony flavour. I often wonder how meringues changes its character, with different flavours it behaves so contradictory !
So the idea of making meringues was put off for very obvious reasons, and even when we got those bulk meringue cookies as part of corporate gifts we tried to give them away, in pretext of one or other. As in my previous post I blogged about the coffee mousse where I had used good amount of whipped egg whites to give the mousse its characteristic foamy texture, this time I was left with almost a big bowl of whipped egg whites . Another mousse or mousse cake will be the killer for us, so instead of throwing them away I thought of making meringue, leaving away my prejudices I wanted to start afresh.
Keeping in my mind our love – hate relationship with meringue, I decided to play safe and instead of going adventurous with some flowery or fruity flavours I decided to rely on my favourite flavour – chocolate. Or you can put it this way that chocolate hides many thing and reveals nothing (just its own flavour !) .
So here we go with three egg whites whipped to stiff peak, and then flavoured with chocolate and baked to crunchy and airy cookies these are absolutely delightful !
Beating the egg whites takes time and patience. After beating the egg whites on low-speed in an electric beater for 5 minute, it looks like this, frothy.
Continue beating the egg whites for another 10 minutes and add the sugar in batches, you will see the egg whites becoming foamy and it slowly turning into bright and glossy. Cream of tartar is used to stabilize the egg whites.
Once the egg whites are beaten to soft peaks, add the vanilla and cocoa powder or any food color you wish to use and cream of tartar and fold them well. Whipped for another 1 or 2 minute to get the stiff peaks which will hold or last for 2 minutes.
Line the cookie sheet with a parchment paper and quickly pipe the designs you wish to with the help of your pastry piping bag. Pop it in the oven and bake until it changes color or become crunchy.
Meringue cookies are usually baked slowly at lower temperatures, till they turn crisper from outside and soft and puffy inside. I baked them in two batches and the second one (brown color) at slightly higher temperature. Both the cookies seems good to me, the brown ones are more crisper and not soft as the pale ones. But enjoyable nonetheless !
Recipe: Chocolate meringue kisses
Summary: Chocolate meringue kisses as light as air, crispy outside and soft – puffy inside.
- Egg whites : 3-4
- Powdered sugar (superfine) : 3/4 cup
- Cream of tartar : 1/4 tsp
- Vanilla extract : 1/4 tsp
- Cocoa powder : 2 tbsp
- Take a very large and clean bowl, add the egg whites in it.
- Beat the egg whites in a low-speed in your electric beater for 5 minutes till they become frothy or foamy.
- Add cream of tartar and beat the egg whites in medium speed for another 10 minutes till they hold soft peaks.
- Add the sugar in subsequent batches and whipped the egg whites for another 5 minutes or till they hold stiff peaks.
- Now add the vanilla extract and cocoa powder and fold them well.
- Whip it for another 1 or 2 minute till they hold very stiff peaks which can last for at least 2 minutes.
- Check if the meringue is gritty or not by rubbing it between your fingers.
- Meringue is done when it is no more gritty and it holds very stiff peak.
- Preheat the oven to 200 F.
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the meringue on the baking sheet with the help of a small spoon or put them in the piping bag and pipe the designs you wish to.
- Baking time differs considerably from recipe to recipe and depends upon few factors too.
- The size of meringue cookie are very small, so in this case they will require just 45 minutes to bake.
- Turn off the oven and leave them in the oven to cool off.
1) Take utmost care while separating the eggs.
2) Egg whites should not have any minute trace of yolk in it.
3) Eggs are separated best when they are chilled.
4) Use a clean and dry glass or steel bowl to whip the egg whites.
5) Add the superfine sugar only after the egg whites are whipped to soft peaks. This helps eggs beat fast.
6) Whip the egg whites only at room temperature to ensure volumes and for easier and faster peaks.
7) Store the meringue cookies in an airtight container and it will remain crispy till 3-4 days.
8) Add more cocoa powder if you want to get deeper chocolate color.
1) You can use food colors to get nice attractive meringue cookies.
2) Any flavour you wish to from citrusy to melony anything under the sun literally.
3) Dressed the meringue cookies with chocolate or almond shavings or hide some chocolate chips inside it.
4) You can use lemon curd or creams or jellies to make sandwich meringue cookies.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 25 small cookies
Culinary tradition: French
So go ahead and make them in batches, keeping few things in mind you can hardly go wrong with this. Whip up your senses and go creative or innovative, pop them simply in mouth or sandwiched them with cream or jellies, you will love them as much as we do.
Enjoy and have fun !
Have happy weekend !