Monday, November 23, 2009

100th Post - Time To Tackle Those Meringues!

Ah, my 100th post. Can't believe I actually had a hundred different things to say to you so far, dear readers. And I haven't run out of steam yet either, much to my own amazement, and your dismay! Well, I do tend to yammer on in the conversations I have in my head, which inevitably spill over into this blog. Isn't blogging wonderfully therapeutic, folks? It's my little bubble of calm in an otherwise crazy world. I have these little bouts of creativity that like to burst out of me at random intervals, so blogging is a great way to channel them. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, finishing off a post in one sitting, and having it out there in the infinite blogosphere for all to see. And you know what? It takes a certain amount of guts to leave yourself vulnerable to all kinds of feedback. That's right my fellow food bloggers, we should all stand a little taller knowing that we are brave enough to bare a piece of our soul to the world on a regular basis.

Last week, Debby from A Feast For The Eyes and I asked all of you Pioneer Woman Cookbook winning hopefuls this question: What kind of recipe/dish have you always wanted to make, but never got around to it? By going to our new blog, Foodie Fans of The Pioneer Woman, and leaving a response to that question, you give yourself the chance to win a copy of P-Dub's fabulously funny new cookbook (I've been reading my copy, and it cracks me up!).

So my own answer to the question was meringues. Those lighter-than-a-feather morsels of deliciousness. I've always admired them, only ordering them in fancy restaurants. Somehow, this delicate combination of egg whites and sugar always eluded me. I felt that even though the ingredients were at hand, it was the technique that I couldn't master. For some reason, I just thought that meringue-making was for the delicate hands of a pastry pro, not a clumsy cook like me. But being a food blogger is about conquering those long-held fears! And those of you who can make meringues with one hand tied behind your back will laugh. But for me, diving into the deep end looked mighty scary - little did I know that once I jumped in, the water was just fiiiiiiiiiine.Plus, erm, I think DH bought me my KitchenAid mixer for the sole purpose of making meringues - they're one of his all-time favorite sweet treats. For weeks now he's been going on about "what about those meringues you promised you'd make??" - so I finally did. It's taken me at least a 100 blog posts to get to it, but I did it, and now I can check that off my list - while licking my lips, because this meringue dessert turned out phenomenal! Great way to celebrate my personal milestone.
A magical meringue moment.

Go on. Take a closer look, and tell me you don't want to swim in that pool of yum!

Meringues Chantilly With Berry Compote (adapted from Ina Garten's recipe on Foodnetwork.com)
Serves 4

Click here for printable recipe

2 extra-large egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups frozen or fresh strawberries and blackberries
Few tbsp sugar, depending on how sweet you want the compote

Vanilla ice-cream to serve

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on high speed till frothy. Add two-thirds of your sugar, and continue beating on high speed till egg whites form very stiff peaks. They should also be glossy! Whisk in the vanilla, then carefully fold in the remaining sugar.

3. Using a pastry bag, pipe the meringue mixture into disks, like so, with raised sides, so that it works like a bowl for all that luscious compote.
Mine are a little wonky, but pretty decent for a first attempt!

4. Bake for an hour. Then turn off the oven, and let the meringues sit in the oven for another 2-4 hours, or even overnight. These can be stored in an airtight container; no need for the refrigerator.

5. Heat the berries and sugar in a small saucepan, over medium-low heat. Keep the mixture bubbling slowly till it reduces and thickens to your liking. Cool it down before serving it with the meringues and vanilla ice-cream.

Verdict: I couldn't take my eyes and camera off of these beauties! And when I finally took my first bite - whoa. It was definitely a "stop the presses!" moment. The flavors and textures were exactly like the meringue desserts I order at my favorite restaurants. DH had the same reaction, so I know I'm not crazy. Crispy-crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, just the way they should be. And combining it with the strawberry compote and vanilla ice-cream, slowly melting over the whole ethereal combo - well that's just an evil genius thing to do. But I did it. And I'll keep doing it now, again and again.

20 comments:

Cheryl said...

Oh my gosh, I have been so afraid of them myself. I have conquered biscuits and pie dough this year, but Meringues, wow! Good for you!

Sophie said...

Congrats, Muneeba on your 100 th post & a lovely one it is too!

This dessert is something festive for me!! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM,...

Cathy said...

Congrats on the milestone!! Your dessert looks delicious.

Mari said...

Congrats on you 100th post chickie!

That looks delish! as do ALL of your creations...I might have to give you my @ so when my birthday roll around lol

Parita said...

Congratulations!!! That looks simply divine! loved the compote :)

5 Star Foodie said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! What a lovely decadent dessert to celebrate with!

Yasmeen said...

Happy 100!.Keep rocking with ur witty posts.The meringue with ice cream...I'm drooling profusely :D

Malar Gandhi said...

Congrats on your 100th post, happy blogging:)

Wow, droolworthy pictures...really tempted to the core:)

Betty said...

looks gorgeous well done!

Chocolate Shavings said...

That's the perfect dessert to celebrate 100 posts, congrats!

Sushma Mallya said...

Congraz on ur 100th post...wish to see more of such yummy dishes...and this sounds really interesting and surely looks yummy..

Kerstin said...

Congrats on 100 posts!! Your meringues look perfect!

Velva said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! The meringues look absolutely divine. Don't you wish you would have tackled them earlier. Very lovely.

Nizsha said...

You've hit the 100th mark
Way to go Muneeba

And a very happy eid ul adha to you and your family :)

lorenabr said...

Congrats on 100!:) It looks great as always

Faith said...

Congrats on 100 posts! Time flies, right? What a way to commemorate it, these are some gorgeous meringues!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Oh, girlfriend! I adore meringue and haven't had it in years. OK, you've convinced me to try these. I have frozen olallieberries. My husband will flip for these.
Muuuuuuuuuwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Right after Thanksgiving, this recipe is up!

Erica said...

Congratulations on you 100th post! Those meringues look delicious.

3 hungry tummies said...

Congratulations on your 100th post!!

Ellie said...

Congrats to your 100th post and many more to come!! Those maringues are gorgeous :)