Thursday, 4 March 2010

Leftover Egg Whites? Make Meringues!

You may be innocently creating a lovely ice cream, or lemon bars, or something equally delicious in your kitchen - when you realize that you have used up all your egg yolks and now have a surplus of whites. What to do? At my house, if a certain youngest son of mine knows that I have whites left, I am obligated to make him meringues. Light as air, like crispy marshmallows, kids love these. Never mind that my kids are bigger than I am - cookies are universal. This is the first time I have tried adding cocoa to them - the taste is quite nice - I think we both still love the classic plain ones, but these were very tasty indeed... makes me wonder what espresso powder would be like in them...

Chocolate Meringue Cookies
Martha Stewart Living

Makes 30 cookies
1/4 cup cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
*Swiss Meringue* below

1.Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.Sift 1⁄4 cup of cocoa over the meringue, and fold so that streaks of cocoa remain.
3.Fill a pastry bag fitted with a tip of your choice (we used an Ateco #5 star tip); pipe out cookies in small coils or desired shapes onto baking sheet. Sift remaining cocoa over cookies; bake until cookies lift off parchment easily, about 2 hours.

Swiss Meringue
This meringue works well for piping shapes and baking them until crisp. It can be rewhipped if necessary.
Note: Raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, babies, young children, the elderly, or anyone whose health is compromised. MSL

Makes 4 cups
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.Fill medium saucepan one quarter full with water. Set the saucepan over medium heat, and bring water to a simmer.

2.Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of electric mixer, and place over saucepan. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Test by rubbing between your fingers.

3.Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use meringue immediately.

Okay, who sandwiched two chocolate meringues with Nutella? That is just naughty!