I love meringues. They're sugary, light, and melt in your mouth. My son calls them clouds and was all excited when I made these, as was I!
Meringues are pretty easy to make, they just take a reaaallly long time. Baking time varies, but all recipes require at least two hours in a low heat oven with the door cracked open.
I made these for my husband's insane birthday cake (recipe coming soon), and the recipe came out of Dessert University by Roland Mesnier. Great book, but Roland doesn't spell a lot of stuff out for you, I guess he expects you to know certain baking basics, if not maybe you should head back to Dessert Elementary, if such a book exists. Apparently I would need this book since half my meringues were crap.
Obviously if you're baking something with the oven door cracked open what is at the front of the oven is going to bake at a different rate than what is at the back, so you should rotate your pans every once in a while. Yeah, didn't do that. I baked them about 5 hours, and the ones at the front that I was testing were still quite soft. I was super annoyed at the wasted time since I thought they were all garbage (I left these to the day of assembling the insane cake) but when I took the pans out the ones at the back were perfect. So a lot of waste, but a lesson learned. Thanks Roland, you could have just told me in the first place.
by Roland Mesnier
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the egg whites and the sugar in the stainless steel bowl of an electric mixer. Pour enough water into the bottom of a large saucepan so that when the bowl is placed over it, the bottom of the bowl will come into contact with the water. Heat, whisking constantly, until the egg whites are about 125 degrees F, or feel like warm soup to the touch.
Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the whites with an electric mixer on high until the meringue is cool and stiff. Pipe the meringue into desired shapes on the baking sheets. I used my large star tip that I usually use for piping frosting onto cupcakes.
Place baking sheets in the oven and leave the oven door cracked open about 1 inch (I stuck a wooden spoon the door). Bake until completely dry, 2 to 3 hours, but this totally depends on how thick your meringues are. Mine weren't that big and they took about 4 to 5 hours. Also, you should periodically rotate the pans. Since I didn't do this I don't really know how much, but I would say at least once after 2 hours.
Remove meringues from the oven and let them cool completely on the baking sheets.
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