Friday, December 6, 2013

Meringue


About Meringue:

Meringue, (/məˈræŋ/,mə-rangFrench pronunciation: ​[meˈʁɛ̃ɡ]) is a type of dessert, often associated with Swiss and French cuisine, made from whipped egg whites and sugar, and occasionally an acid such as cream of tartar or a small amount of vinegar. A binding agent such as cornstarch or gelatin may also be added. The addition of powdered sugar, which usually contains corn starch, to the uncooked meringue produces a pavlova, a national dish of Australia and New Zealand. The key to the formation of a good meringue is the formation of stiff peaks formed by denaturing the protein ovalbumin (a protein in the egg whites) via mechanical shear. Meringues are often flavoured with vanilla and a small amount of almond or coconut extract, although if these extracts are based on an oil infusion, an excess of fat from the oil may inhibit the egg whites from forming a foam. They are light, airy and sweet confections. Homemade meringues are often chewy and soft with a crisp exterior, although a uniform crisp texture may be achieved at home, whilst many commercial meringues are crisp throughout.





Makes a Few Dozen

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hrs 15 mins

Ingredients:

3 Egg Whites
2/3 cup of Suprefine Sugar
½ tsp of Cream of Tartar
¼ tsp of Salt
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
Shredded Coconut, optional

Method:

1) Preheat your oven to 275 degrees, line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2) In a large bowl with a hand held electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until they become a little frothy, add the cream of tartar and salt and mix it in until combined.

3) Slowly add the sugar and whisk the mixture until the egg whites become thick and very glossy and the sugar has dissolved (pinch the mixture in between your fingers and see if you feel the sugar, if you do, keep mixing)

4) With either two small spoons or in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, form little dollops on your prepared baking sheet a couple inches apart.

5) Sprinkle the top with some coconut and bake them for 1 hour and 15 minutes making sure to rotate the baking sheets half way through baking. Turn the oven off and let them cool and dry out with the oven door shut for 3 hours.

Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple weeks!



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