Baking Beauties: Meringue and Kaiserschmarren
This Baking Beauty class covered the topics of french meringue, macerating strawberries, raspberry sauce being your friend in a strawberry world and the famous Spago Kaiserschmarren.
Baking Beauties classes live in the realm of baking and conversation. Personally, I find both learning and teaching to be more enjoyable when it is not the focal point of an event or time spent. Knowledge bombs interspersed with laughs, snacks and quality time spent. Being in good company, open to receive, is being in my classroom where I love imparting some of my Renaissance Woman prowess. Men and Women alike, learning baking basics can be a blast.
While I cannot share the Kaiser today, I will be sure to bring you an alternative souffle soon.
Let's talk French Meringue
French meringue involves fresh egg whites, granulated sugar and cream of tartar. The ratio of egg white to sugar is not as specific as it's meringue counterparts: Italian and Swiss. Which means you can adjust the sweetness of the meringue easily to accommodate the flavor and sweetness of what you will fold it into.
French Meringue Checklist:
Are your whites freshly separated? The fresher the whites the stronger the protein structure. Why? They were just attached to the albumen and have not relaxed yet. Relaxed egg whites are better for the world of macaron.
Are your whites room temperature? Room temperature whites will be easier to whip slowly and more consistently. They will accept the sugar into their structure much better than cold whites.
Do you have a clean mixer, a clean whisk and did you check to make sure no yolks made it into your whites? Fat is not your friend with meringue. Fat prevents the whites from being able to whip and make a bubble structure. Fat hides in unclean mixing bowls, whip attachments and yolks.
Break a yolk into your whites? Start over! Save the eggs for an omelet. Try working with a smaller bowl to separate the whites, frequently placing the whites into a larger vessel. This will save you if you break a yolk into the whites at the end of a dozen eggs.
adequate for folding into 1000 grams of a souffle base
470 grams Egg Whites
150 grams Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
the acid helps break down the whites and stabilize the meringue. Cream of tartar is what turns baking soda into baking powder
1. Place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
2. Begin whipping on medium low speed.
3. The center of the meringue will look like "snot" as you begin to create bubbles of the meringue. Once the snot is almost gone (whipped) add the cream of tartar.
4. As soon as the meringue is just all white and no longer un-whipped egg whites, sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of the weighed sugar slowly.
5. About a minute later sprinkle in an additional two tablespoons of granulated sugar.
6. Continue this process making sure to not add too much sugar at once. Patience is your friend and will result in a delightful strong meringue.
You are building a meringue network or structure of tiny bubbles with sugar interspersed. This creates a strong meringue. If you whip too quickly the bubbles will be much larger which makes the structure weaker. One big bubble pops and a great deal of the structure deflates. Small and mighty bubbles are the goal.
7. The proces of the meringue will take approximately ten minutes. Once all of the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium high for one minute the ensure all of the sugar is incorporated. Reduce speed to medium.
8. To reach stiff peaks increase your spead again to high for approximately ten seconds. Then return the meringue to low speed for one minute to stabilize.
Now your meringue is ready to be added to an egg yolk base of your choosing.
In this instance we had a base of egg yolks, creme fraiche, a french yogurt called fromage blanc and some spiced rum. This resulted in a light flavorful Kaiserschmarren.
Dinner Party Tip?
Use a Paella Pan to make a large souffle that serves multiple guests. For a Kaiserschmarren, you are able to scoop and serve the souffle as it has a small portion of flower added to the batter. More delicate flour free souffles should be eaten from the vessel that they are cooked in.