November 29, 2012

French Meringues

Foolproof and Versatile

Who doesn't like a big ole fluffy, crispy sugary meringue?  You can do whatever you want with these.  Drop with a spoon into blobs on a cookie sheet......pipe into elegant swans....or make mushrooms for a Buche de Noel cake....a Christmas Yule Log.

The French secret for this recipe is the powdered sugar and the method for making them.  No graininess or stickiness ... they are resistant to humidity ... they store beautifully in tightly closed tins.  You can even make them on a rainy day.

4 EGG WHITES, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 200F degrees.   Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.  With an electric mixer, start at medium speed and beat for 2-3 minutes or until meringues are stiff.  Increase the speed to high and add 1 tablespoon more sugar.  When the egg whites are very stiff, add the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat for 30 seconds longer.  By hand, gently fold the powdered sugar into the egg whites.

Using a pastry bag fitted with the #6 closed plain tip, pipe the meringues onto parchment-lined (or grease and heavily floured) baking sheets.  Or if shape does not matter, drop with a spoon. Place in preheated oven and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours, being careful not to let them brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Store in airtight tins.

To make mushrooms:  Pipe 2" rounds onto prepared sheet.  Wet your fingertip and gently tap tops to make smooth.   Pipe an equal number of stems  (do extras for insurance) by pulling straight up on the bag.   Don't smooth these.  Once baked and cooled, assemble mushrooms by taking the tip of a paring knife and carving a small hole in the base of the rounds.  Dot with melted chocolate chips and place stem.  Set aside for chocolate to harden.  Dust lightly with cocoa if desired.

OR for truly perfect mushrooms (and no stress!)
order these from
Lori's French Connection Bakery....

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