The Perfect Meringue (Dominican Suspiro)

March 26, 2013

How to make the perfect Meringue

Home Sweet Home is a popular saying and to me it is so true. There is no sweeter place than my home and my home is where my loved ones are. My sweet Little L and Mr. B. are the center of my life, I love creating beautiful memories with them and many times they happen in the kitchen. This weekend we worked on perfecting my meringue recipe and it was a fun time as Little L wanted to dip her tiny fingers in the bowl so I ended up giving her a spoonful and the mess was all over but we knew how to laugh it out. This is a key to life that I try to live by. It takes a lot of self-control but if you work on it, your reactions towards the various circumstances life will throw at you, could be much sweeter. There is no need to always react madly, to feel bad or reprimand. Take a minute breath in, laugh about the silly things you and others may do and while you keep enjoying life, learn from that situation for the next time.

As I was saying, we worked on a meringue recipe for another post I will share this week. As I am from the Dominican Republic, and Dominican Cakes are so popular and incredibly amazing, I get a lot of requests for a Dominican Cake recipe. While I am Dominican, I (unfortunately) am not a great cake maker. But because I have a sweet tooth (hence why I share so many dessert recipes like this dulce de leche molten cake, these coconut cream balls, these alfajores and these churros)  I have mastered over the years how to make Suspiro or Meringue. One of my aunts had a small bakery when I was growing up and we use to sit around her house waiting to get any meringue leftovers. I was very curious and always would get closer to watch how she would make the meringue, just like my abuela, that is my favorite part of a Dominican Cake.

I won’t  discard the possibility of sharing a Dominican Cake recipe in the future but today I will leave it at the meringue portion only. This is a great recipe to have even without the cake recipe as you can make it to decorate store bought cupcakes, to bake the meringue into small dollop shapes and obtain suspiritos, to cover fruit pies, to spread over cookies or eat it as is with your fingers a spoon like Little L did when I made it.

How to make the perfect Meringue

 

The Perfect Meringue (Dominican Suspiro)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 4 eggs whites
  • ⅛ teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • A tiny pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, mix well water and sugar bringing them to a boil.
  2. While the water and sugar mixture heats on the stove, start beating the eggs at maximum speed.
  3. Once you obtain soft peaks (peaks with tips that curl over when the beaters are lifted) after two minutes or so, add cream of tartar and a tiny touch of salt.
  4. Keep beating for one more minute before adding the two tablespoons of sugar, do so one tablespoon at a time, sprinkling it even around the bowl.
  5. While the egg whites are still beating, check your pot of water and sugar to make sure water has evaporated and mixture has become a thick clear syrup.
  6. While the mixer is still beating on high speed, pour syrup over the egg whites.
  7. Continue beating on high speed until you obtain very thick peaks (peaks with tips that stand straight when the beaters are lifted)
  8. Add vanilla once the temperature of the bowl has cooled down from adding the hot syrup.
  9. Keep beating until the meringue obtains a glossy appearance. The trick is to beat some more even when you think it is done as most times meringue could become flat do to error in temperature, oil in your cooking utensils etc. so is better to be cautious.

KEEP IN MIND THAT: When doing meringues, practice makes perfect so read the following tips I have learned over the years to make sure your meringue turns out perfect.

  • Try to use brand-new, fresh eggs that are not more than 4 days old.
  • Make sure all the cooking utensils are clean and oil free as dirt, oil and moisture can flatten your meringue.
  • A trick cleaning your utensils is to wipe them with a vinegar damp cloth after washing them.
  • Copper, stainless-steel, or glass bowls are recommended to beat the eggs so avoid using plastic bowls.
  • When separating eggs, use cold eggs as they separate more easily than those at room temperature.
  • Do not use egg whites with spots of egg yolks, this will completely ruin the end result of the meringue.
  • If egg yolk or pieces of eggshell fall into the egg whites use a clean spoon to fish it out and do not use your fingers as the oil in our skin will prevent the egg whites from expanding.
  • After separating the cold egg whites, bring them to room temperature (15 to 30 minutes) as warmer eggs whip faster than cold eggs.
  • Start beating the plain egg whites first, do not add sugar before beating as adding sugar or any other ingredient will slow down the process to get a foam.
  • The syrup must be of the consistency of regular corn syrup, it should be thick clean and not caramelized and you must pour it immediately in to the whipped eggs or it will get very hard as it cools.
  • When making meringue you cannot take a break at whipping, continue straight through until the meringue is done.
  • When adding color just add a drop at a time of the desired food coloring that way you can control how dark or light color you get. Avoid oil based colorings like fruit extracts as they will flatten the meringue.

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