Thursday, December 08, 2011

Meringues

Meringues are crunchy confections made from whipped egg whites and sugar. In Germany and Austria (but not in France) they are called Baiser (from French kiss). Served with whipped cream, they are a traditional dessert in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. See our meringue page for similar uses of whipped egg whites.


Meringues 9027
By Mike Lehmann, Mike Switzerland /creativecommons/licenses

Ingredients

  • whites of 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (250ml) superfine sugar powdered sugar or granulated sugar. Ideal is a mixture of 50% superfine and 50% powdered sugar.
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, if desired


Procedure

  1. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and dry.
  2. Add lemon juice
  3. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until mixture holds shape and is very shiny. Test if the sugar is wholly solved and no grains remain (this can take longer or shorter depending on the sugar used).
  4. Add vanilla.
  5. Drop by spoonfuls on unglazed paper
  6. Bake in slow oven 80 to 90 minutes, depending on size. Use very low heat, meringues should rather dry than bake and should be dry and only very slightly colored, when finished.
  7. Let cool, before serving
  8. In the original Swiss recipe, two meringues per serving are filled with sweetened whipped cream, but the cream is often supplemented with strawberries or other fresh fruits and vanilla ice cream

Tips and Variations

  1. The tiniest bit of egg yolk or fat prevents the egg white to get stiff
  2. Meringues are more decorative if shaped with a pastry bag
  3. Another method of baking is, to preheat the oven and bake the meringues 2-3 minutes at moderately hot temperature, then turn down the oven completely and keep it shut for 8 hours.
  4. Meringues do not turn out very well, if the air is very humid (due to climate or due to steam from other cooking)
resources: wiki cookbooks

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