Recipe for Meringues
(working from memory, and with the understanding that there are variations)
(Geez. Never thought I’d be reproducing a meringue recipe HERE.)
2 egg whites (brought to room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
3/4 cup sugar (but I usually use less)
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
Put egg whites into a mixing bowl and use highest speed.
When they get foamy, add the Cream of Tartar and pinch of salt.
(You may want to use a spatula to get the stuff from the sides of the bowl into the path of the beaters.)
As it gets foamier/thicker, slowly add sugar. I normally do a double batch, doubling all the ingredients EXCEPT sugar–I just use a single cup instead of 1.5 for a double batch.
Keep spatula-ing and whipping and adding sugar until “it forms stiff, white peaks” (but they won’t always be “stiff” and often droop–pause for the audience to make humorous remarks).
Stop the beaters, scrape all the extra meringue off the beaters.
Sprinkle the vanilla into the bowl and fold it in–use the spatula and gently mix it in; you don’t want to move fast or stir it, or the meringue becomes less stiff and more like a liquid.
There’s a slightly different order of events when adding cocoa powder, and I can’t remember it, but I’m half seriously thinking about Grow and egg whites.
Drop blobs of it onto a cookie sheet, and put it in a 200 degree oven. Seriously. Only 200 degrees. Leave them in for 2 hours, maybe more. Higher temperature and they turn brown, which is the sugar caramelizing. I don’t like that. If you’re also concerned about whether heat destroys the proteins, keep it as low as possible. You’re almost not baking them as much as drying them out. When you can tap them and they feel solid, take them out and let them cool. Eat. (Not too many.)