Oh merginue, why must you torment me so? With your ridiculous mixing guidelines and your tight as leather baking instructions. All I want to do is eat you! I've been told I should make you myself because when I try and buy macarons from a bakery, it costs me approximately ten dollars for six and I have to sign a contract promising them my first born. Apparently making you is easier than spending the money, but I don't really agree.
I'm sorry. But, one day I may have to just loosen my purse strings and fork over the cash instead of suffering in silence while I feel the beads of sweat drip down my face as I adjust my mixers speed accordingly or while I make sure not to make any sudden movements, lest I scare you in to deflating or not cooking properly.
As I open the oven at the hour and a half mark, my face is red from what I would like to call anticipation, but what is actually a hot flash brought on by your devilish like preparation. I close the oven slowly, making sure that my hands, wet as the rain, don't slip off the oven door handle and slam the oven shut. God forbid.
When you're finished, I take you out of the oven slowly and examine your wonderous outer shell. Sure, I wish you had turned out a bit differently, but overall I'm satisfied. After you've cooled ever so slightly, I take a sharp knife (the quicker the better as I always say) and I slowly slice off your top. Everything's going fine. I can feel myself smiling again in god only knows how long. I feel happiness spread through my body like a sugar rush from a tablespoon of buttercream.
Instead of cooperating, you decide to fall apart. You decide that, after our four hours together, you're just going to crumble. What about our dreams? What about the lives we wanted together? Remember what we planned? You'd bake perfectly and then I'd eat you with such lust that it would make Aphrodite weep.
Well, b**ch, the jokes on you cause only one of us can fit in the garbage can.
In all honesty, this recipe was fantastic. I just wrote the above analogy to hightlight the difficulties of cooking anything meringue. However, this shouldn't discourage you from trying it, because when it is done it's actually incredibly rewarding.
The recipe for the Mergingue Cupcakes comes from Whisk Kid. However, after a few issues with slicing the top, I was forced to head to my imagination station and think of another way to make this dessert, with a homemade whipped cream and blueberry curd, work. I was determined.
Instead of making it in the way that it was originally intended, I sliced the tops off, turned them over, and made them in to cups. Hoozah!
Meringue Cups with a Blueberry Curd adapted from Whisk Kid
Yield | Approx. 12
6 eggs whites, room temperature
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup sugar
Whipped cream (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 225'F. Take two 12-cup muffin tins and line every second cup with a paper baking cup and spray each with cooking spray.
2. Beat the egg whites, vinegar, vanilla, and salt until frothy, in a large mixing bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Slowly increase the speed and start adding the sugar 1 tbsp. at a time, allowing one minute after each addition to give the sugar time to dissolve. Whip the mixture until stiff, glossy peaks form
3. Once finished, add the mixture to a pastry bag. You can add a plain coupler to the piping bag before pouring in the mixture, though I didn't and it worked alright. Pipe the mixture into prepared cups, piping to about 2 inches above the rims. Finish each with a peak in the center or no peak if you want the bowl to stand straighter when filled with cream and curd.
4. Bake for approx. 3 hours - 3 hours and 20 minutes, rotating each tin halfway through. According to Whisk Kid, the "Cupcakes should be completely dry on the outside but still soft in the middle. A toothpick inserted horizontally at base of top should have moist but cooked crumbs attached).
5. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely.
6. To assemble the cups, slice off the caps of the cupcakes with a serrated knife and turn upside down on a plate. Fill with whipped cream and blueberry curd and top with fruit.
Blueberry Curd adapted from Whisk Kid
85 g blueberries
a little less than 2/3 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/8 cup lemon juice
pinch of salt
1. Whisk all the ingredients in heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering, not boiling water, until slightly thick. This will take approx. 8 to 10 minutes. You may need to use a masher to crush the blueberries slightly to let the juices out. Blueberries have a tough outer shell that hold up well against a whisk.
2. Strain the mixture over a bowl and then cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is touching the surface of the curd. Place in the refrigerator until cold/ thick.
Honestly, meringue should not be something that is feared. It's a great learning experience and if it doesn't turn out the first time, then try again and learn from previous mistakes.
Until next time, happy baking!