Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fluff Piece

After several days of being under the weather, it appears I have finally gotten my groove back and am in the kitchen again. I made these meringues because as much as I love them, I was not willing to pay five dollars a box for the ones I get at the natural foods store. I had all the ingredients on hand at home anyway, so I figured I should give them a try.

The only negative with making the meringues is that there is no such thing as instant gratification with them. You actually have to leave meringues in the oven overnight to finish crisping before you can eat them. Talk about an exercise in self restraint! These were wonderfully light, and the cocoa powder was a nice addition. I'll try the plain variety of these on my next go-around. This recipe comes from one of my favorite books, Special Diets for Special Kids by Lisa Lewis.

I took a cup of egg whites (I buy Liquid Eggs) and a pinch of salt and beat in a bowl until foamy, then added 1/4 cup unsweetended cocoa powder. Then I added 1/8 tsp. of cream of tartar, beating until peaks began to form. I then added a cup of sugar, gradually, until stiff peaks formed. I don't own a pastry bag or decorating tips (yet), so I put the mixture in a large Ziplock bag, cut a tiny hole in one corner, and piped them onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. I baked them at 250 for about 45 minutes, then turned off the oven and let them sit there overnight.

By the way, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BAKE THESE ON A RAINY OR HUMID DAY. They will turn all gummy and gross, definitely not good eats (Thank you Alton Brown). Remove from oven, keep in an airtight container--they'll last in there several days--and resist the urge to eat them all at one sitting.


Jeanie said...

Ok, those look delicious! I'm drooling! I don't think I could wait overnight to eat them though, you have some serious self control girl!

Attila The Mom said...

How in the world did you get them to look so perfect?

Lynn Barry said...

What a labor of L-O-V-E! HUGS

Mike Eberhart said...

Another Alton Brown fan, I see! Those did really come out looking wonderful. Nice job, and nice picture.

You surely couldn't take that picture here (we're stuck at around 10 degrees outside), though humidity wouldn't be a problem right now.

Flamenco Mom said...

Thanks. I'm not sure it was self control. It was more like I convinced myself they'd be horrible if I took them out too soon.

Attila, that would be my anal retentive tendencies being put to good use.

Lynn, hugs right back to you. Hope you're staying warm.

Mike, its true: I love me some AB. I told my husband that Alton is the only man in the world who can ever come between us, LOL! And you are correct, it's definitely not 10 degrees out. It was more like 65 today--sorry.

~M said...

1) Have you ever added vanilla extract to these or made a vanilla meringue?

2) How careful do you need to be to not squish the raw meringue in the ziplock - I'm afraid of killing all the air I created by squeezing.

3) How many meringues does this recipe yield - more or less?


~M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flamenco Mom said...

~m, I haven't tried tried this with vanilla extract or vanilla seeds from the pod. I would curious to see how it would come out.

I did have to use a very gentle hand to avoid squashing the raw meringue mix. I found that the last 2 or 3 I made did not look like they had the same airy texture.

I made mine on the smaller size--about 2 1/2" in diameter, and yielded about 45 meringues. Next time, I'll pipe them a bit larger, but will need to adjust the baking time. If they feel a bit firm to the touch then they are done. For the smaller ones that meant about 45 minutes (in my oven), but it would be closer to 55 minutes.