Whimsical Cookery is a site for adults who prefer to eat like children, or perhaps just need to cook for some children. This site contains an aversion to vegetables, a love of fried food and cupcakes, lazy shortcuts, some disturbing creations, and an ignorance of proper culinary practices...

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Mint Christmas Tree Meringues

2 oz./approx 50g semi-sweet bakers chocolate for stars
4 eggs whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp mint extract
Green food coloring (I used 4 drops of McCormick brand)

Prepare chocolate stars FIRST by heating a small amount of chocolate, and using a small piping tip (or cut the tip of a plastic bag), pipe out a few dozen stars in chocolate onto wax paper or parchment.  These can then harden while meringues bake.

For the meringues:
1. Preheat oven to 200F/100 C.

2. In a bowl, beat egg whites and tartar until mixture begins to thicken.

3. Slowly add sugar to the mixture until meringue is able to hold stiff peaks.

4. Beat in mint extract and food coloring.  Be careful not to overdo it on the food coloring, as it will cause your lovely stiff meringue to become a gooey mess.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment or some other non-stick surface.

6. Add mixture to a piping bag with a large cupcake decorating nozzle (see picture of meringues for idea of what type of nozzle would be best).

7. Pipe meringues wide at the base to a point, as though you were using a soft-serve ice cream machine (again, see picture).

8. Bake at 200F/100C for about 2 hours 10 minutes.  Do not open the oven door.  Simply turn off the oven and allow meringues to cool down for another half an hour in the oven.  Then remove and allow to cool.

9. Once cool, you can attach the chocolate stars by heating up any leftover chocolate from before, and dipping the tips of the trees in the warm chocolate.  Set stars on top and allow to cool again.