French Meringue

Cakes are one of the single things we use to toast the celebrants at a party. For birthdays or graduations, that can mean lots of frosting but not everyone wants gobs of it. Since a cake just isn't a cake if it doesn't look fun and inviting, we'll focus on creative ways to decorate a cake's exterior with a lighter complement -- French meringues, or crispy macaroons.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 7 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 30 min
  • Cook: 7 min
  • Yield: 1 full sheet pan of meringues, about 18 to 24
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Ingredients

4 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, optional

4 ounces sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 ounces confectioners' sugar

3 ounces nut powder, optional (Nut powder is equal volume by weight of confectioners' sugar and a roasted nut of your choice. I like hazelnuts, peanuts, or almonds).

2 ounces cocoa powder, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixer, begin to whip the egg whites with cream of tartar, if using.. Slowly add the sugar. Whip the whites until stiff peaks.
  3. Combine flour and confectioners' sugar (and nut powder if using), then fold into whites.
  4. Load batter into pastry bag (use open star or any desired shape IF NOT using nut powder otherwise use no tip), and pipe quarter size meringues onto grease free parchment paper. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until browned. Remove and cool before use.
  5. Pipe buttercream from cake assembly into some of the meringues for a surprise.
  6. Apply meringues to the cake after applying a heavy crumb coat. Cover completely. Put fresh berries or dollops of cooled, piped chocolate ganache between any gaps of the meringues.
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