In this dessert version of a deviled egg, we again disassemble and reassemble the humble egg. The egg white is replaced by a crisp, fluffy meringue shell. The egg yolk filling is mimicked by a rich, buttery Chantilly cream, often found perched atop cocoa puffs throughout Hawaii. Finally, the accenting twang of the paprika garnish is substituted with a dash of cinnamon.
A cute, simple recipe that will delight the guests of your next gathering (or you could just hoard them like I do. You may not be willing to share these once you're done).
Step 1: Make the "Egg White" - Meringue Shells
Basic Meringue Recipe:
-whites of 2 eggs
-1/8 tsp. salt
-1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
-1/2 cup white granulated sugar
-(optional) 1/8 tsp. non oil-based vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees C.
In a grease free bowl, beat the egg whites until a forth begins to form. Fats, oils, and egg yolk are the enemy of fluffy meringues, as they will prevent the proteins from forming a strong, sturdy network. Once frothy, add the salt and cream of tartar. Though not absolutely essential, the cream of tartar will help to stabilize the meringue (the acidity helps denature the egg proteins, preventing the meringue from shrinking and collapsing in on itself). Beat the eggs white until soft peaks begin to form (stick the whisk into the mixture, pull it straight up, turn it upside down. The tips of soft peak egg whites will droop over on itself). Continue whisking while slowly adding the sugar (or you could just dump it all in at one time. I did.) Beat until stiff peaks form (test as before, but stiff peaks will stand straight up. No drooping.) Once you think you have stiff peaks, beat the hell out of it for another minute. A very stiff meringue will be easier to pipe into egg shapes. And don't worry about over beating, the sugar will help to stabilize. At this point, feel free to add the flavored extract of your choice. *CAUTION* - oil-based extracts will cause your meringue to collapse.
Scoop your meringue into a Ziploc bag (or a pastry bag with a round tip, if you have one). Cut the tip off one of the corners of the bag, and begin piping your egg whites onto a pan lined with aluminum foil. To form an egg, squeeze the bag firmly to form the round butt of the egg, and draw the tip back slowly to form the skinnier, pointer part of the egg. Practice. If you mess up, just scrape the meringue up back into the bag and try again.
Slide your egg shaped meringues into the oven and bake until the outside of the meringue is crisp and dry to the touch. At this point, the insides are still gooey and have the texture of a toasted marshmallow. If you want a crispier, more cookie like meringue, bake for an additional hour.
Remove your finished meringues to a wire rack to cool. Meringues are very susceptible to moisture, so use immediately, or store in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator.