It's been many many months since my last post. I almost have no idea what to tell you, if there's any of you out there that still read this blog. What can I say, grad student life doesn't give you much time for blogging. Still, I've tried to keep the baking up, even if I fail at the picture-taking part.
Anyway! I had a few friends over a couple weeks ago and since I was using egg yolks to make vanilla ice cream, I put the whites to use by making meringues. These babies are ridiculously easy to make. Unfortunately, the pictures don't make them justice, but they were cute. In fact, you can even make surprise meringues. See that white looking guy at the back of the picture? white on the outside, chocolate in the inside. How? just coat your piping bag with the regular meringue, by applying a bit of meringue to the bag, squeezing it and then opening it back again. Then add your chocolate meringue mix carefully to the bag, so you don't wipe off the white from the sides. Pipe your meringues normally and you'll have surprise meringues!
How do you make these you ask?
4 egg whites
A pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup regular granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (for the chocolate ones)
In a clean dry bowl, either glass or metal (not plastic since fats tend to stick to it and any sort of fat will deflate your egg whites) add your whites, the cream of tartar and the sugar. Set the bowl over a double boiler and start whisking your whites with a hand mixer at low speed (or a whisk) until the sugar is completely incorporated and the mixture has thickened a bit. Remove from the heat, change the mixer speed to high and continue beating the eggs until they form stiff peaks. About 10 minutes. Now you can either pipe the meringue as it is or add chocolate to it.
To incorporate the cocoa powder, just sprinkle it over the whites and get it mixed with a folding movement, from bottom to top while turning your bowl. Be gentle with the whites or they will deflate. I didn't completely incorporate the cocoa and had a few streaks still showing. I think that looks prettier!
For a better idea on this whole beating eggs business, Alton Brown shows you how, here:
To bake the meringues, pipe them, using a piping bag or a ziploc bag on to a tray covered with parchment paper. They don't really 'bake' they just dry, so your oven will be at a very low temperature, 200 F. However, your meringues will spend about 2 hrs in the oven in order for this process to occur. The meringues are done once they separate easily from the parchment paper.
Eat by themselves, with ice cream or your topping of choice, and enjoy!