Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pandan meringue kisses

 Some days ago, for some reason I now have forgotten about, there was a glass of egg whites waiting sadly in the fridge. I had to do something with them, and it struck me that I had been waiting for a chance to make meringues (as a first step training for project macarons, to be attempted during the holidays). I was inspired by a simple recipe from Peggy Porschen's book "Boutique baking, delectable cake, cupcakes and teatime treats."
Source
 I adapted the recipe by giving pandan flavour to the meringues. As you know, I am obsessed with the beautiful green color and sweet, subtle flavour of the essence of Pandanus amaryllifolius, common in South East Asian cooking, and easily available from Asian supermarkets. Maybe you remember hearing about it from the time I made Pandan cake and Pandan coconut sandwich cookies. Anyhow, I was actually surprised about how well they turned out (thanks Kitchenaid), so here goes the recipe:

What you'll need: 
-100 gr. egg whites (from ~ 3-4 eggs).
-a pinch of salt.
-100 gr. sugar
-1 tsp. (or more) Pandan essence (or the flavouring + colouring of your choice, feel free to be creative here)
-100 gr. icing sugar
-a piping bag with a star nozzle.

What to do:
Preheat oven to 80ºC and prepare two cookie trays with baking paper. Clean your mixing bowl with lemon juice or vinegar and dry very well to make sure it is immaculate (and more importantly, grease free) before you start beating (otherwise your egg whites might not rise as well). Put the egg whites and salt in the bowl and start whisking on high speed. As the egg whites start to get stiff, add the sugar, little by little, waiting for the sugar to dissolve between each addition. It is important not to add the sugar until the egg whites have started to stiffen (to make sure enough air is incorporated into the mixture). If you do it this way, the sugar will actually help stabilize your meringue. Stop mixing when your meringue becomes stiff and glossy. Add the pandan essence and icing sugar and carefully fold them in with a spatula. If you are not using pandan essence, you can divide the mixture and give it different colors. Now you are ready for the fun part: pour the meringe in your bag and pipe star forms onto your baking trays. Bake for 2-3 hours, or until the meringues have completely dried out. Mine were ready after about 2 hrs. If you store them in an airtight container, they can last for 3 months, but in our household they did not last 4 days. And that's it, enjoy.

3 comments:

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  2. Wow, I've never heard of pandan before... they look fab though and I'd be totally intrigued to try them! (Merry Christmas by the way too!) x

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    Replies
    1. Pandan is very common here among the populations of indonesian descent... and you can find it quite easily. I was introduced to it by the boy's grandma, who is half indonesian.
      If you send me an email with your address (poppiesandicecream@gmail.com) I will happily send you a bottle, it is not heavy or expensive at all.

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