Lenor from Muscoda, WI (2018 Week 4: Desserts)




Muscoda, WI

Baking Challenge

Layered Meringue

Give your dessert a clever name – and tell us about your recipe.

The "Whipped Cream Covers a Multitude of Mistakes" Dessert.
I would have been kicked out of the Bakers Tent.
Paul Hollywood would have called it a mess.
Mary Berry would most likely not care for the meringue.
It was very humid this week, so I'm not sure if that had anything to do with the way they turned out, but it most likely was the baker's fault. I have not made meringue layers before. This is really my second attempt at meringue; the first time, I learned how in a class on baking pies. After this, I would like to try a Pavlova dessert, which is similar to what we made but more of a bowl of meringue.

My recipe for the meringue was 8 egg whites at room temperature
1 cup sugar
vanilla (in hindsight I would have used vinegar, too)
I beat the egg whites and tried to gradually add the sugar and vanilla, but patience is not my thing.
I put half of the batter into piping bags and piped into two circles. I also tried to make little meringue drops. Those were yummy.
For the second half, I added cocoa powder to the batch to make two chocolate layers.
I put this in the oven on a low heat and baked it for over an hour, then turned it off and let it set in the oven. They came out sticky, so I read to put them back in for about ten minutes, and that worked. I was going to use the extra meringue drops for decorations, but most of them disappeared into my mouth. They were yummy.

When they were done, I made a chocolate ganache and spread it on top of each layer. I also made homemade whipped cream to put in between the layers. It looked a little sad, so I added more whipped cream to the outside to make it prettier, but pretty is not easy for me. So I added some chips on the side, along with the left over meringue drops. On top, I added some cherries and some colored whipped cream to add more color to the dessert. It looked a messy, but it did taste good. Oh, and hey – I did have distinct layers, even if I think I lost some meringue crunch.

What was the biggest surprise during your baking journey? Did you use any unconventional approaches? What did you learn along the way? Tell us about it!

The biggest challenge was all the little "rules" to baking a meringue a person has to know. Watching a Mary Berry video helped – though there was no way I would put a dollop of whipped meringue on my head. Mine would have fallen on my head, without a doubt. It was stiff, but I wasn't brave enough to try it. I had to do two batches; the first one kind of failed, because I had the oven too hot.

How did you add a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or decoration?

Well, I used farm fresh eggs from our friends the Waneks who live here in Muscoda. I added a W to the middle of the dessert for decoration, and added some red color. Most of the ingredients were bought at our local Benders Store.

How did you do?

It’s not pretty, but it’s edible.