Let’s Bake Some Meringue

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Growing up, my mom would do the occasional lemon pie. Looking back, I believe her and my brother were the only ones who really enjoyed it. I liked the lemon part, I liked the crust, but the meringue was just not working out for me.

Then again, I didn’t like olives, cheesecake, Caesar salad … which I now love.

Two days ago, we had a cooking class at work – my job, as strange as it sounds, sometimes brings me to very interesting places; from working half a day at a food bank, to a cooking class in the afternoon. Yes, I work in an office 90% of the time, I attend conferences and travel occasionally like the rest of us, but once in a while something fun is organized for the staff. That day, it was a cooking class.

So there I was sitting with new colleagues listening to a chef explaining how to do French meringue. First, I was very confused because I thought meringue was Italian. Second, I didn’t like meringue! What a bummer.

How I was wrong!

See, after a mini-vanilla-crème-brulée, I said to myself that maybe I should give these French meringue cookies a try. Turns out it was delicious. Seriously. I had missed out on so much in my life. But now I was given a second chance to appreciate meringue. I would make the most of it! I am so dramatic. But you get the idea.

So my duty this weekend has been to find out more about meringue.

Here is also the basic recipe I got from my class given by Prinzo Fine Catering.

You will also find bellow the recipe for traditional Italian meringue that I found here.

FRENCH MERINGUE

You will need:
6 large egg whites, room temperature
A pinch of salt
A pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, superfine is preferred

In a mixer, whisk the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until the mixture gets foamy.

Add sugar gradually until stiff peaks form. The texture will be shiny white.

Put the mixture in a piping-bag.

2 stepsOn a baking pan covered with parchment paper, be creative and make beautiful shapes.

Bake in the oven at 200F for about 2 hours.

For a Canadian Twist:
I added about 1/3 cup of maple syrup to the egg mixture once it was almost ready.  Great idea.

ITALIAN MERNGUE (my personal favorite)

You will need:
5 large egg whites, room temperature
A pinch of salt
A pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup of granulated sugar, superfine is preferred
1/3 cup of water

In a pan over low heat, pour the sugar in the water and bring the temperature up to 235F to 240F. Use a candy thermometer.  This is called sugar syrup.

In a mixer, whisk the egg white with the salt and cream of tartar until the mixture gets foamy.

Add the hot sugar syrup gradually until you get stiff peaks forming. The texture will be shiny white.

Put the mixture in a piping-bag.

On a baking pan, covered with parchment paper, be creative and make beautiful shapes.

Bake in the oven at 200F for about 2 hours.

Again, you can add maple syrup, or what you think would be cool and good. Easy to do, meringue is amazing. Seriously.

For other ideas on how to jazz up your meringue:

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/peppermint-meringues
http://ourshareofcrazy.com/spring-meringue-cookies/
http://www.eggs.ca/recipes/festive-meringues

Meringue 2

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