Monday, September 5, 2016

Mallowy Meringues

Meringues are probably some of my favourite cookies. Made one way, they are perfect travelling cookies, long-lasting, light as air and perfect for a sweet bite on the go. However, I much prefer them made on the chewier side, resulting in a crisp shell around a just-baked, almost gooey middle. As someone who loved burning her marshmallows for the same effect, I'm not surprised - but this balancing act was always a tricky one to stick!

Mallowy Meringues

Until recently, achieving the combination of textures (while managing to get the eggs cooked) was always a bit of a fluke. Whether the oven was a touch on the cool side, the air was blowing a bit oddly, the air was more humid than normal or the egg whites were too fresh and didn't aerate fully, I never really know until I finally opened the oven door. Then, after browsing through one of the food science books I took out of the library (can't remember which one, sorry!), I stumbled across a trick that made such perfect sense I couldn't believe I didn't think of it - adding a touch of powdered sugar to the egg whites makes sure the batter holds onto just enough moisture to create a marshmallowy interior while keeping a crisp shell. The second trick of mine to get that sought-after texture is a short baking time at a relatively high temperature for meringues, followed by a "cool down" in the oven. Doing this makes the shells crackle slightly, and if you serve them plated, they're a perfect topping for lemon curd, raspberry coulis or vanilla custard (or a combination!). For kids, making pseudo-s'mores with these (top a graham cracker with a scoop of chocolate frosting followed by a meringue) is a great alternative to the campground treat too.

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Mallowy Meringues
Makes ~20 
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup icing sugar
¼ tsp salt
3 large egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp clear vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 320°F and line two large baking trays with parchment paper (do not grease).
  2. Whisk together the sugars and salt, set aside.
  3. Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in a spotlessly clean bowl with electric beaters until soft peaks form.
  4. Gradually add the sugar mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating constantly for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is semi-stiff and glossy.
  5. Add vanilla and beat to combine.
  6. Using a teaspoon, drop meringue onto prepared trays 1” apart.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, until firm but still slightly “marshmallowy” inside.
  8. Turn off the oven and cool for 15 minutes, then cool to room temperature.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 37.3
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 8.3 mg
Total Carbs: 9.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 0.5 g

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