Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vanilla Meringues

What are you doing this weekend? I am headed to Las Vegas! I'm so excited because I just purchased a new lens and I can't wait to test it out.

While I'm off melting (literally) in sin city, I want to leave you with these light meringues. By light, I mean their delicacy, and their melt in your mouth trait. I've wanted to make these babies ever since I was a little girl, but I was always intimidated. There's something about smooth, white, and fluffy things that just get to me. I mean it, everything from my "marshmallow" comforter (goose down) to bunnies, to fluffy frosting. I just love it all!

Anyway, after biting the bullet, I soon found out how easy it was to make these. They are easy to transport and keep fresh and will satisfy that hankering for sugar feeling at around 3:00pm to help get you through the rest of your day. Please enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! Wish me luck!

Vanilla Meringues adapted from Cake Love

Note: There is a very very fine line between underbaked and overbaked. Because the baking time is not very much, I would suggest sitting in front of the oven and staring as they take shape until they are done.

4 large egg whites
6 oz. (3/4 cup) extra-fine granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3 oz. (3/4 cup) confectioners' sugar
1 oz. + 2 tbsp. (5 tbsp.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. vanilla powder

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Set the rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Line a sheet pan with parchment or a nonstick silicone baking mat.

3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment, whip the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.

4. With the mixer still on high speed, slowly add the sugar and whip for 15 seconds to incorporate. Add the vanilla extract and reduce the mixer speed to medium for about 15 seconds to stabilize the meringue.

5. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. Tap the wire whip on the side of the mixer bowl to remove all the meringue. Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue in 3 additions using a rubber spatula, working gently to avoid deflating the meringue.

6. Fill a pastry bag or ziploc freezer bag, fitted with a piping tip, with the meringue.

7. Pipe the meringues onto the lined sheet pan about 1 inch apart to allow for spreading.

8. Bake for about 7-9 min. ( I only took about 5 min.) or until they appear dry and slightly brown.

9. Remove the pan from the oven and cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes on a flat, heat-resistant surface or a wire rack.

10. Once the meringues are cooled, gently slide an offset metal spatula under each one to release from the pan.

They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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