If you're ever craving just a bit of sweet without all the heaviness, fat and calories of a cake or cookie, consider a meringue. These light-as-air confections are perfect for a bite or two of something sweet, and when you make this meringue recipe at home, they can be all-natural as well as low in calories.
Homemade Meringue Recipe
5 organic egg whites
1.5 cups organic sugar
Preheat the oven to 230 degrees F.
Ensure as you separate the eggs that there is no yolk left behind. To be extra sure, break each egg one by one into a small bowl. If the white is pure, add it to the larger bowl of whites. If it isn't pure, reserve it for another purpose. You could also use boxed organic egg whites if you prefer.
Use an electric beater to beat the egg whites, adding half of the sugar, bit by bit.
When the egg whites have doubled in volume, add half of the remaining sugar and whatever flavoring you choose. Continue beating them until they become firm, smooth and shiny.
Sprinkle in the rest of the sugar. As soon as it is incorporated, the whites should be firm and should cling to the whisk.
Put the meringue into a pastry bag or a plastic sandwich bag with the tip cut off.
Butter and flour a baking sheet. Use the pastry bag to make meringues in the size and shape you desire.
Bake the meringues in the oven with the door ajar. Small, bite-sized meringues will cook in 40 minutes. They are done when they sound hollow when tapped.
You may have noticed in the above recipe that there's a place to add extra flavoring. While meringues are delicious on their own, they're even better when you add a bit of flavor. Here are some of our favorites:
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. of mint extract and 3 drops of green food coloring
- 1 tsp. of coffee extract and 1/4 cup of cocoa nibs folded into the batter after you add the last of the sugar
- 1 tsp. of almond extract; line the pan with raw, slivered almonds as well
- 1 tsp. of blueberry extract and 3 drops of blue food coloring
Try these and other combinations with organic extracts, perfect not just for meringues, but for all of your baking needs.
Image: Klearchos Kapoutsis