Food Network Canada's blog, Food for Thought, has been hosting a monthly cooking club. The idea is to get different perspectives on various recipes. I like it because it gives me an opportunity to try new recipes. The fact that cookbooks are given away at the end of each month doesn't hurt, either.
Last month's recipe was Michael Smith's (of Chef at Home, Chef at Large and the Inn Chef fame) Buffalo Chicken Wing salad. On this month's menu is Laura Calder's recipe for Crisp Chewy Meringues.
I didn't know this until I saw others' opinions about the selection of this recipe, but apparently meringues are really, really divisive. Like Nickelback, people either love them or hate them. Personally, I love them. Anything with such a high sugar ratio is guaranteed to be on my list of favourites.
I wasn't sure if I'd like this recipe though... crisp and chewy meringues? I was concerned that they would just give an impression of being undercooked. I prefer dry, crunchy meringues, like the kind I used to beg my mom to buy me from the local Dutch deli when I was a kid.
I was wrong to worry though--these meringues were seriously delicious. The outer shell tastes like traditional dry meringues, but once you bite into it you taste gourmet, homemade marshmallow. It's incredible. And it puts my Kitchenaid mixer to excellent use, too.
Crisp Chewy Meringues
Via Food Network/Laura Calder
- 4 x egg whites
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla (or orange flower water, or maple extract)
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- 1 x tbsp cornstarch
- Whip the whites and salt into peaks, add the vanilla, and continue beating to stiff peaks. Stir the cream of tartar into the regular sugar and whisk into the whites very gradually, a spoonful at a time, until the meringue is stiff and the sugar has dissolved. Sift together the icing sugar and cornstarch. Sift over the meringue and gently fold until fully incorporated.
- Pipe or spoon the meringues onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 225ºF/110ºC until cream-coloured and crisp on top when tapped, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Remove from the oven. Cool on the trays. Store in an air-tight container.