Have you ever had a meringue? I have. And you know what? I really don’t like them.
I call meringues the mean dessert, because if you’ve never had a meringue before you will look at them expecting one sugary,flavorful experience, but instead get a mouthful of disappointment. The first time I had a meringue was at a large potluck while unloading my fully-loaded 5 layer mexican dip. I was alone in the kitchen with the dessert table, and anyone who knows anything about me knows I like my desserts, so this meant trouble. I was trying to ignore them as they threw out cat calls to me, tantalizing me, and I was doing so well until one dish in particular caught my eye. It was simple, no chocolate, no coloring, just a bunch of perfect mounds of white whipped cream/mousse looking structures. Nobody else was around, so now was my chance to act before anyone else could see.
I pulled a spoon out of the drawer and drew it near the glob of cream, readying my attack. I was fully convinced I was about to dip into silky whipped cream heaven when my spoon bounced right off of some form of forcefield and made a CLINK sound on impact. Something wasn’t right here. I picked up the hardened whipped cream impostor and studied it before biting into it, when red lights and sirens went off in my head and my brain screamed back at me, “WHATDIDYOUPUTINYOURMOUTH?!”
Obviously I just stupidly tried to eat a decoration. I spit it out, pulling shards of whatever this thing is out of my teeth, and threw the rest away quickly before anyone came into the kitchen and caught on to my idiocy. I stood off to the side, eyeballing the plate holding those blobs of evil with the nervous glare of a lunatic, waiting desperately to see if anyone else would fall for the jerk host’s mean trick.
It took all of 3 minutes for the kitchen to fill up and for others to walk over to the plate — excitedly, even, just as I had at first — only they didn’t try to spoon into it like I had. They picked it up immediately, as if they knew all along they weren’t soft and velvety, and bit into them. At first I felt like I’d just shifted from being the butt of the joke to the part of the jokester and was feeling particularly proud of myself. That is, until they took another bite, made a yum face, and continued eating it until it was gone, and I realized I was alone in my ignorance.
Since that party I’ve learned to tolerate meringues for the most part, but the confusing thing is that people actually LIKE them. They ENJOY them and consciously will BUY them to EAT them. I don’t understand it, but I’ve learned that it isn’t polite to yuck someone’s yum, even if their tastes are horribly disgusting.
Difficulty: Very Easy
1/2 cup Confectioners sugar
Making a How-To post may be a little pointless when the author is obviously biased negatively against his subject, but I also think it’s important to know how to make a wide variety of recipes, even if you don’t particularly like what you’re making. Who knows, I might have some guests that actually ENJOY meringues! Though it’s doubtful, because why would I allow someone with such poor judgement into my home? It’s just asking for trouble.
There are numerous variations of meringue, and some are actually passable as edible, but this recipe will be for your basic Plain Jane meringue.
To make the foundation of a meringue you really only need two ingredients: eggs and confectioners sugar. That’s it! It’s pretty lucky that is all it calls for, because if there were anymore ingredients needed, I can tell you I would not be making them today.
What you will do is you will separate the yolks from the whites and then beat the hell out of the whites until they form stiff peaks and you can literally flip the bowl over your head without anything coming down on top of you.
Once that is done you will beat about half of your sugar into the mixture and then gradually beat in the remaining sugar until it is well incorporated, making sure to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
Take a spoon (or you can pipe them) and plop those disgusting turds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You’ll want to make it pretty enough to trick your guests into thinking they’re going to be tasty.
Bake them in the oven for about an hour at a very low temperature, possibly the lowest your oven will go. For me, that is 170 degrees and it seems to work out fairly perfect. After 1 hour turn off the oven, do not open the door, but let the meringues sit in the hot oven for another 40 minutes. If your meringues are gooey after the 40 minutes, go ahead and turn your oven on and continue cooking until they are solid and sound hollow when you tap on the bottom of them.
Take them out of the oven and then immediately put them in the garbage, because that’s where they belong.
Or you can top them with whipped cream and fruit or chocolate, whatever.