This was my first attempt at a meringue, for this dessert, requested by my friend Emma. I love meringues but they’re not terribly common where I am–not impossible to find, I think most Whole Foods carry them, but not everywhere. Also, they’re pretty and versatile; they go well with all kinds of toppings and fillings.
I started out full of enthusiasm and hope, despite all sorts of warnings about what can go wrong with meringues.
Ingredients and the basic meringue
Meringue with chocolate added, and shaped on the pan
It was even pretty when it came out of the oven…but then it fell. It was fine for a bit, then deflated slowly over the course of the two or so hours between taking it out of the oven and whipping the cream to go on top. I followed the directions almost exactly, except to reduce the sugar to one cup, as per the numerous comments on the original recipe page, so either the lower sugar content requires some other intervention no one offering the advice mentioned, or I should have left it in the oven longer than the instructions allowed for (always a possibility, with my oven).
It still looked pretty, and tasted good–it is a nice, light dessert, and the flavour berries came through very nicely, really balanced with the chocolate rather than being a highlight. I didn’t need as much cream as the recipe indicated, and I dusted a bit of powdered sugar over the top of the chocolate shavings. I’m quite pleased, even if it is a deflated and not-crisp meringue, but I’ll do more research on meringues and do better next time.
Update, April 5: Further research indicates that I beat the egg whites too quickly, and probably over-mixed them; there are also many recommendations for cooking at a lower temperature than the recipe recommended. My next attempt–a lemon meringue pie–should be better.