Leftover egg whites from macarons or crème anglaise? Hello meringues. Ever since Paris, I now have to have dessert to end off any meal which of course is totally and completely fine with me because I live by sweet. I even find myself opting for a sweet breakfast now when it’s usually a savory one back home. Man, I miss those carrot cakes and chee kuehs my parents would buy back for me.
I happen to have a lot of ice creams stashed away in my freezer and that would usually be my dessert and it takes me back to the time when I was invited to the home of the Belgian friend. It was a gorgeous home with a long dining table all set properly. Plates, dessert spoons, soup spoons, main spoons, forks, knives, water glasses, wine glasses all laid out beautifully with soft music playing in the background. I wish that was my home. After a warm home-cooked meal I was served ice-cream with hot fudge and crushed meringues and that is such a typical and simple combination that I’ve had before but I have no clue as to why that was the best tasting ice-cream and crushed meringue ever.
Did I mention meringues give you the perfect opportunity to practice your piping skills too? I do it partly to make sure mine don’t go rusty. Besides, there are a whole lots of other uses for meringues besides for ice-creams. Now that I’ve made them and they’re all well stocked in my pantry, my repertoire of simple after dinner desserts can now be expanded. From Eton Messes, to trifles, parfaits, verrines..
Eton Mess, that’s a great idea, Next up on my to-make list. So why not make yourself some meringues that can simply be added to any of your dessert for extra crunch, especially when it’s so easy and fast? Just pop it into a warm oven to dry overnight, come back the next morning and it’s done!
Meringues // slow-baked:
egg whites – 100g
caster sugar – 80g
icing sugar – 114g
In a clean mixing bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until soft white peaks form. Add in a third of the caster sugar and mix well. Once it has reached semi-stiff peaks, add in the second third of the sugar. When you see the eggs white starting to pillowing upwards, add in the last third and whisk until shiny, stiff and glossy. (To check, you can stop the mixer and take some meringue between your fingers. You should not feel the grains of the sugar) Be careful not to over whip.
Using a spatula and working in two stages, fold the icing sugar in as delicately as you can so as not to knock the air out and turn the mixture watery. It would be easier if you had someone to help you. One folds, the other tips the icing sugar in.
In a pastry bag fitted with a nozzle, pipe into any desired shape you want onto a tray lined with parchment paper.
Bake overnight in a preheated 60-70C oven with the door slightly ajar.
Store in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber to help them retain its crisp.