I've been making a lot of fresh pasta lately and the pasta dough I have been making has been an egg yolk dough. As a result, I have a shit ton of egg whites chilling an a quart container in my fridge. I am going to be making an egg white cupcake-cake (you know the ones where you lay out a bunch of cupcakes and frost it into a design) later this week for a birthday party, so stay tuned for that, but in the meantime I decided to make some simple meringues.
I am not a huge fan of plain meringues, they are a little too sugary for me, so I decided to balance them with a homemade tangy blueberry compote and some bitter dark chocolate. The poppy seeds add a nice toasted finish too.
makes 10 meringues
for the meringue:
- 3 (90 grams) large egg whites, at room temp (this is very important)
- 1/4 t cream of tartar
- 1/8 t kosher salt
- 2 T powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) plus 1 T granulated sugar
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 2 T poppyseeds
- 1/2 c chopped dark chocolate
for the blueberry compote:
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
* Keep the egg whites at room temp because it is what will allow the eggs to get the volume that you are looking for with your big fluffy meringues. You want to take your egg white out of the fridge 1 hour before you make your meringues.
Preheat your oven to 250°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan over a medium/high heat, combine your blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Let the mixture cook down, once it has reduced by half you know your compote is ready, be careful, the mixture is hot. You can either leave the blueberries whole or muddle them in the pan for a more compote-like texture. Set aside to cool.
Use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (this is easiest unless you're trying to get a big arm workout in) that is VERY clean. If there is any water or residue of any kind, your meringues might not turn out and that would suck. When you know that your bowl is thoroughly clean, add the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar. Whip on high for 3 mins until soft peaks form.
While the whites are being whipped, sift together 2 T powdered sugar and 1 T granulated sugar, discarding the big bits left in your sieve. Set aside.
Once the soft peaks form, keep your standing mixer running at a medium-high speed slowly add 1 T of sugar at a time, this whole process should take you five minutes, until all the sugar has been added. Once the sugar is added, continue to whip for 2-3 more mins until you have thick, glossy, stiff peaks.
Remove from the mixer and fold in 1/3 of your cooled blueberry compote to create a beautiful swirled effect, reserving the rest for later. Using a tablespoon, spoon out dollops of the meringue mixture onto the parchment paper, about 1/2 inch apart from each other. Taking a smaller spoon, create a divot in the middle of each meringue. Fill each divot with a small about of the reserved compote, top with chopped chocolate and poppyseeds.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour, do not open the oven at any time. Let cool completely before you eat or the compote will fall right through the meringue. Enjoy.