I’ve never really liked meringues–they’re bad for you, for one, and although that never stopped me from liking anything else, that, combined with how they get stuck in your teeth, usually keeps me away.
But I had these egg whites. Twelve of them, to be exact, which by the way is enough to create a big snowy mass that crawls up the whisk and then the arm of a decent-sized KitchenAid mixer, if you turn your back for a second too long.
I somehow convinced myself that if I could make meringues with a more spunky flavor, and perhaps a little bitterness (is it possible?), that I might just like them. I started with a green tea simple syrup. I divided the aforementioned gigantic bowl of Italian meringue into two smaller batches, and started experimenting. So, theoretically, one batch would be green tea with sea salt and (unsweetened) cocoa nibs(from Theo); the other would be green tea with wasabi and black sesame seeds. Yum, right? Different?
And, to make matters more difficult, we needed to unhook the oven last night, so I had to make soft meringues, which are cooked all at once instead of left in the oven all night to dry.
I ice cream-scooped big, airy-looking puffs of the salt and chocolate variety onto baking sheeets, and they were delicious straight out of the oven – the chocolate’s bitterness was tempered by the sweetness of the meringue, and the salt brought out enough green tea to taste the flavor (just barely). Dry outside, airy inside. But two hours later, they had completely collapsed (obviously didn’t dry them enough), and the salt crystals had migrated and (I swear) multiplied, so I had sticky salty nasty marshmallows rather than anything remotely edible.
I decided to dry the wasabi batch out a bit more, first baking them and then leaving them in a dying oven for a few hours . . .but, of course, I turned off the timer and forgot to turn off the oven until about 45 minutes later, so the resulting specimens were less than ideal, even for tasting.
As Tiffany said, it could have been so beautiful. But I should have known better. Meringues always make me angry.