ITALIAN MERINGUES: what a cloud should taste like if we could give it a bite!

meringhe
MERINGUE

Did you know that, in Italy, the dessert which you call “meringues” are instead called Spumiglie?

Meringues,” to us Italians, are those Spumiglie stuffed with whipped cream (as you see in the picture) … a seriously delicious dessert

that you can make at home with no special tools

but a good oven… and lot of patience.

When, some time ago, I offered this dessert to one of my American friends, she told me that to her my meringues are like biting into a cloud!

And I loved this comparison because it very much fits:

they are white, and fluffy, but crunchy at the same time…. a pleasure that will met in your mouth.

Just a warning: most of the time I tell you that a recipe is easy, but this time I should warn you that even if the instructions are pretty easy to follow, the result can depend on the power of your oven and the respect of the ingredient’s quantities, and it may take more than one try before you obtain the desired result!

This dessert is the perfect present to bring along for a dinner invitation, as well as a unique and fancy offering when you host a party.

INGREDIENTS

200 gr. cold egg whites (usually 6 or 7 cold eggs whites)

2 cups sugar

1 tsp lemon extract

1 box heavy whipping cream (for the filling)

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TOOLS REQUIRED

An electric mixer and a container perfectly clean and free of any oils,

(I usually use a large glass jar about 9 inches diameter 15-16 inches tall (to help the whites to whip better),

but if you own a stand mixer that works perfectly)

A cake decorator

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven at 260-270 degrees F.

Beat the egg whites inside the container until they are almost completely foamy and look glossy.

Sift in 3/4 cup of sugar and continue beating until stiff (you should obtain a compound shiny and fluffy).

Gently add the remaining 1 and 1/4 cups of sugar, stirring with a hand-whisk, plus the teaspoon of lemon extract. Be very careful not to deflate the mixture.

On a baking sheet (or two) covered with baking paper, use the cake decorator to make tufts of the mixture about 1 inch big,

being careful to maintain a certain distance from each other because during cooking they will raise.

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Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the preheated oven (260-270 degrees F) for 30-40 minutes.

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Then take them out of the oven and quickly flip the Spumiglie, puncture the flat side of each one with the tip of your finger,

and put them back in the oven for another half hour, to let them cook also on the opposite side.

At this point you have got about 50 Spumiglie (but obviously the number depends on the size you have made them).

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Now, whip the whipping cream, and with the help of a teaspoon pat the cream inside each Spumiglia (thanks to the hole you created before),

and then attach them in pairs to obtain MERINGUES!

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Keep the meringues in the refrigerator, and take them out just before you serve (or eat) them!

You won’t believe how good this dessert is, and once you’ve made it, I’m sure you will repeat the recipe very often!!!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT !

 

TIPS:

– If well-cooked, the Spumiglie can be stored in a tin can or glass jar for up to a month.  Of course, once stuffed with whipped cream, it’s advisable to consume them within a day or two.  So I recommend to stuff the Spumiglie only in   the desired amount and store the extras for later (perhaps for making a delicious MERINGATA).

– You’ll know if your Spumiglie turned out or not when, chewing them, they should not be chewy inside, but crispy and fragrant.

– When my mother makes Spumiglie, she turns on the oven in the convection function, lets them cook for the first 5 minute with the oven door closed, and for the rest of the time with the oven door cracked opened. I’m telling you this because I really hope you will not be discouraged if, the first time you attempt this recipe, it doesn’t result as expected! The secret to perfect meringues is that they have to cook slowly, so they become crunchy also in the inside.

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