I’ve never made any form of whipped egg white dessert before but these Swiss meringue cookies surprisingly came out as good as I could hope for. The scent of raspberries permeated the cookie and the slivered almonds added a nice textural contrast to the crisp meringue. The low and slow baking temperature also concentrated the flavor of the embedded raspberries, resulting in a tangy red spot of syrupy jam.
There are three major categories in meringue development. Generally speaking with the point of view of a meringue neophyte, the main difference between the three methods lies in the amount of heat applied to the ingredients:
- French Meringue
No heat applied to the ingredients.
- Swiss Meringue
Gentle heat applied to the combined egg whites and sugar, usually over a bain-marie or double boiler.
- Italian Meringue
Sugar and water are heated to the firm ball stage (246ºF/119ºC to 250ºF/121ºC), creating a hot syrup. The hot syrup is then slowly added to the egg whites right at the beginning of whipping.
In any case, a whole lot of intimacy with my Oxo whisk is required regardless of the method. I’ve never wanted a Kitchenaid more in my life.
Red, White, or Swiss hosted by Zorra of 1x umrühren bitte
Swiss Meringue recipe adapted from Michel Suas’ Advanced Bread and Pastry
Swiss Meringue with Raspberries and Almonds
makes approximately 24 cookies
2 1/4 cups sugar (20 ounces/560 grams)
1 1/4 cups egg whites (10 ounces/280 grams)
24 fresh raspberries
slivered toasted almonds, as needed
- An instant-read thermometer would be nice but not necessary. Just make sure you don’t end up with scrambled eggs when whipping over the bain-marie.
- The ratio of sugar to egg whites is 2 to 1 by weight. This formula will yield a crisp and firm meringue.
For the Swiss Meringue:
Preheat your oven to 200ºF/93ºC. Prepare all of the ingredients before whipping the egg whites. Also prepare two sheet pans lined with either parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Prepare a bain-marie by simmering water in a saucepan. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Place the bowl over the bain-marie and whip continuously until the egg white and sugar mixture reaches 120ºF/49ºC.
Remove from the heat and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
Pipe (using a pastry bag) or drop (using a large spoon) the meringue onto the prepared sheet pans. A dozen evenly spaced meringue mounds seem to work best for each sheet pan.
Gently place one raspberry and the desired amount of slivered toasted almonds on each meringue mound.
Immediately bake at 200ºF/93ºC for 2 to 3 hours, until the meringue cookies are dry, crisp, and lightly golden brown.