Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coconut Meringues (Or What To Do With Lots Of Egg Whites)

Coconut Vanilla Chewy Meringues
After making all of that ice cream last week, I had 6 egg whites just waiting for some purpose.
Leftover egg whites, from ice cream making
I couldn't decide, Angel Food Cake or Meringues? I put on Food Network for some inspiration, and it must have been a sign, but Giada De Laurentiis was making meringues! I immediately consulted with my copy of Joy of Cooking and decided to make a cross between what Giada did and what was written in Joy of Cooking, but then kind of something totally different at the same time. It all started with a little whipping of the eggs.
Whipped egg whites
At this point, I added a pinch of salt and kept whipping. The salt breaks down the egg whites and allows them to better absorb the sugar. I had 6 egg whites, so I added approximately 1.5 cups of sugar.
Whipping egg whites, adding a little bit of salt, sugar, vanilla extract, coconut extract, and cream of tartar
You want to make sure you use extra fine sugar. Luckily, I had some on hand, but if you don't, you can make it extra fine by putting your granulated sugar in the food processor for a little bit. The smaller the granules, the less they weigh the egg whites down, while baking. Also added to the mix was cream of tartar, a bit of vanilla extract, coconut extract, and lemon zest (I add lemon zest to everything). Since I had so much coconut flavoring leftover from ice cream making, at the last minute I decided to make these Coconut Meringues.
Adding some shredded coconut
Once the egg white mixture reached stiff peaks, I blended in the shredded coconut, just until mixed in evenly. Now, normally I would pipe these into adorable rounds, but I was tired and Giada said it looks really cool when you just spoon 'em on to your parchment. Who am I to disagree with Giada? Did I mention I was also really tired?
I formed little rounds with peaks, simply with a spoon
Now this not the cookie you'd want to make if you're in a hurry for a snack. These bad boys take a while to bake and cool. I had mine in the oven at around 200 degrees for about 2+ hours.
Before the oven
I made two batches, some with coconut shreds on top, some without. After baking them for a few hours, I let them cool for a few hours.
After chilling overnight, they just peeled right off the parchment..
They weren't the average meringue. They were different. I think they were better different, kinda chewy and gooey different. Most meringues I've had are harder and crunchy. I think I prefer my chewy gooies, but that's just me. My guess is that if I baked them longer, I would have the hard, crunchy, commercially accepted texture. Either way, a very fun time in the kitchen and yummy coconut smells in the apartment.

1 comment:

bansheemoni said...

I agree with you. Chewy and gooey is better!