It's been weeks since I contributed anything to the I Heart Cooking Club's weekly share and I apologize for that! Sometimes life just gets in the way, I guess. I'm back this week with a fun Donna Hay recipe that gives me the basic how-to of making meringues. These lighter than air sweet treats are going to be used in four different ways over the next week ... this basic recipe is my contribution to this week's IHCC Pot Luck. I'm trying to do a bit of catch-up. Originally, they were meant to be the offering for the Time for Tea recipe share, but I just got so busy travelling and puttering on some other projects that blogging went by the boards. Thank goodness for Potluck week!
Meringues are ridiculously easy to make, but there are a few really important rules to remember. First, all your beating equipment must be completely and totally clean and grease free. Yeah, I know. We all think we get the beaters clean, but those ridges and fittings can harbor buttery batter bits from the last baking project, so it's important to check before making the meringue whip. Second, the meringue is made with caster sugar. It's a super fine grind of the sugar granules that is sold in England and Australia, apparently. I can't find it here in the States, so I used regular granulated sugar and my coffee grinder to make a fine caster sugar. In researching to see if I could use confectioner's sugar, I found that confectioner's uses some cornstarch to keep it from clumping. No cornstarch in the meringues, please. Third, separate the eggs carefully, as a broken yolk ruins that egg white for the meringue. I separated my eggs over a small prep bowl so that if I slipped, I didn't ruin the whole batch of whites. Fourth, a pastry piping bag and fixture works really well to help you get good results on shaping your meringues. You can also use a plastic bag with one corner nipped. Finally, I drew my designs on parchment paper, turned the paper over so the lines could be seen but the graphite wouldn't be sticking to the meringue fluff and yeah ... it worked well.
And that's it! Easy and fun! Get creative! Thanks Donna Hay, for an easy take on meringues! Donna's recipe showed little meringue ghosts with black currants for eyes. I'm on a different holiday kick this week, so you know where my brain's at. Hearts and kisses ... yup. Here's the link to her recipe
One thing that drew me to making the treats is that they are gluten free. Glutens seem to be bothering me of late, so I am all about finding alternative desserts that satisfy my sweet tooth, but keep me safe and sound. I made hearts, kisses, bird nests, and swans. These shapes will be used over the next week with a lemon curd, some home made ice cream, and crushed to form a layered frozen dessert. I'm excited to play with them and see how things turn out!
But first, it's all about the Valentines ...
Head on over to the Potluck and see what everyone else has contributed to this week's share!!