Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nutella Meringue

It is amazing how good you feel after you've been sick!  I am not a sick person by nature, but last week I was thrown for a loop, or thrown loopy.  I got vertigo and the world spun around and around for about a week. (Dave says he has always known I was a little dizzy, now there is a medical diagnosis to go along with it)

Well, the spinning is gone, I'm back on my feet and to celebrate, I drank champagne and made Nutella Meringues.  You just can't get any better than that.  

I have decided that these are true health food.  Meringues are basically egg whites and a little sweetener.  Egg whites are good protein.  Nutella states in the advertising that is a healthy...and I believe everything I hear in commercials so protein and a healthy chocolate/hazelnut addition.  How can you go wrong?  If nothing else, when I eat these crispy, chewy meringues I am happier and that is good for anyone's health.

Nutella Meringues
from Cream Puffs in Venice
Yields 15 to 20 meringues (depends on how big you make them)
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
a pinch of cream of tartar
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon, granulated sugar
1/4 cup Nutella
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Make sure you have one oven rack in the bottom third of your oven and one in the upper third of your oven.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Set up a double boiler (a pot with another pot on top or a heat-proof bowl on top) and put the Nutella in the top of the double boiler. Warm the Nutella through and then set aside while you make the meringue. (You could warm the Nutella in a microwave but I don’t own one so you’re on your own if you do use one.) Let the Nutella cool as you make the meringue.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites. Beat on medium-high speed until they are completely foamy.
Add the cream of tartar and the salt and continue whipping at medium-high speed until when you lift the whisk attachment, soft peaks form. This should take a few minutes.
Once you have reached the soft peak stage, increase the speed to high and begin adding the sugar a few spoonfuls at a time (this should take a few minutes).
Once all the sugar is in, the meringue should be very thick (almost stiff) and when you left the whisk firm peaks should remain.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and drop in all the Nutella. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the Nutella into the meringue three or four times. You’re aiming for a swirled effect so don’t overmix. This will also help avoid deflating the meringue.
Using two spoons, drop the meringue onto the parchment-lined baking sheets in large dollops.
Place in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, immediately lower the heat to 200 degrees F. and rotate the trays. Bake for an hour.
After an hour, check the meringues. If they are completely dried out then turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven for a few hours to cool with the oven. If the meringues still look a bit “wet”, then continue baking for another 20 minutes or so. Either way, once fully baked, turn off the oven and leave the meringues in there for a few hours.
When you remove the meringues from the oven they should be completely dry and cool and will sound hollow when you tap the bottoms.
The meringues will keep in an airtight container for a week.

August 15, 2012     Daylight  16 hours, 29 minutes, 1 second   Current Temp: 67ºF

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