I may not have mentioned it, but I absolutely love Jamie Oliver. I like the way he describes food, the way his gives his recipes - I relate to "a handful of this" or "a glug of olive oil" and things of that nature. There's room to play with his recipes and it just makes sense. So, when I ordered a (super super discounted) copy of Cook with Jamie, I was beyond thrilled with what I got. And immediately wanted to make about a thousand things but have since only made one.

Meringues! I never made them before, happened to have the ingredients and was really just itching to do something from this book. Not to mention this was at Christmas and, well, it seemed to make logical sense. I was pleased with the final product as well! I liked the slightly chewier ones, but it's personal preference.

Jamie Oliver's Basic Meringue Recipe

- six egg whites
- one cup (plus five tbs) superfine sugar (note: while this makes sense, I used the regular sugar that I had on hand and it turned out fine.)
- a pinch of salt

Whisk the egg whites until they form firm peaks - Jamie says you know that it's thick enough if you can "hold the bowl upside down over your head". I was nervous, but tried it, and was pleased. Gradually, while still mixing, add the sugar and the salt. Whip on high for about seven or eight minutes (or until the mixture is super white and glossy); if you rub a little of the meringue between your thumb and finger it should feel smooth. Grainy? Mix more, but don't whisk it too long 'lest it collapse. (no idea how long too long is, but if I didn't make it collapse, I doubt you will)

Now, if you feel like adding a flavor, this is the point to fold it in. I turned my meringue into two batches and one of them, I added a drop or two of peppermint. The other got some cocoa powder (mocha powder? hm.). I then prepped a baking sheet with foil (Jamie suggests waxed paper, but I didn't have any).

Okay. I confess. I have one baking sheet and I had a lot of meringue, so, I also spread the foil on a cupcake pan and used that as a baking sheet. This, I suspect, helped make them chewier and that made me happier. So. It all worked out.

Regardless. Take your surface and your meringue and you want to make little blobs or big ones or, you know, whichever floats your boat. Chuck them in the oven (300 degrees) for about an hour and then giggle with delight when you realize what you've got.

These can be used for other things or nommed up as-is. I was pleased and gifted some to other people. My roommate was pretty delighted and that was that. Deliciousness in action!

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