Three Guys From Miami: Cuban and Spanish Food Recipes

Jorge Castillo: A merenguito or merengue is just a mixture of beaten egg whites whipped with sugar.

Glenn Lindgren: Many cooks use cream of tartar to help stiffen the mixture. We've had good luck without it. 

Jorge Castillo: We have two recipes for meringues. One uses sugar and no cream of tartar. The other uses cream of tartar and a hot sugar syrup.

Glenn Lindgren: We've had good results with both, however the hot syrup method produces meringues that are very similar to the "Tostaditos" brand.

Jorge Castillo: It is vital that you separate the eggs properly. Just a bit of yolk in with the whites can really make a mess of the whole project!


Meringuitos -- Meringues

By Three Guys From Miami



Warm Method



Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 1 dozen

Meringues are like the topping of a lemon pie, only drier and puffier.

INGREDIENTS:

4 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch Salt
1 cup sugar
Baking parchment, or paper baking cups, sprayed lightly with PAM
With an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl until they reach the soft-peak stage. It is important not to over beat the whites at this stage.

Add cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Stop beating.

Combine sugar and water in small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. With a candy thermometer, bring the liquid to the soft ball stage: 238° F.

Set mixer on medium speed and pour hot syrup into egg whites in a slow, steady stream. Beat until mixture is completely cool and shiny -- about six to eight minutes.

If you have a pastry bag, fill it with the mixture. Use one of those fancy tips that came with the pastry bag and squeeze out three-inch circles onto your baking parchment. (Or fill individual paper baking cups.) If you don't have a pastry bag, use a spoon -- not as fancy, but it works.

Bake meringues at 200° F for approximately two hours. The meringues should be dry and crispy -- not brown.

With an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl until they reach the soft-peak stage. It is important not to over beat the whites at this stage.

Add a pinch of salt and continue to beat. Add a small amount of sugar at a time until you've incorporated all of the sugar into the mixture. The mixture should be very firm -- "stiff peak" stage. Turn off beater and fold in one additional tablespoon of sugar with a spatula.

If you have a pastry bag, fill it with the mixture. Use one of those fancy tips that came with the pastry bag and squeeze out three-inch circles onto your baking parchment. (Or fill individual paper baking cups.) If you don't have a pastry bag, use a spoon -- not as fancy, but it works.

Bake meringues at 200° F for approximately two hours. The meringues should be dry and crispy -- not brown.

Hot Syrup Method
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 cup hot water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
Baking parchment, sprayed lightly with PAM
This recipe and editorial content from the book: "Three Guys From Miami Celebrate Cuban." Copyright ©2006 All Rights Reserved.

No copying or commercial duplication of any content (including photos) without the express written permission of the authors and proper attribution.

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