Meringue Birch Twigs

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    Thirty-three

    15 inch long twigs

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About
Oven Temperature 225°F/105°C

These marvelous meringue cookies are a contribution from Gary Fallowes, inventor of the BeaterBlade. They are the lightest and least sweet meringues I’ve ever encountered. If baked until tan in color, they will have a slightly toasty taste that accentuates their subtle raspberry flavoring. Set in a crystal vase or tall glass, they make a spectacular presentation.

Ingredients

Meringue

VOLUME WEIGHT
3 large egg whites, at room temperature ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (89 ml) 3.2 ounces 90 grams
cream of tartar teaspoon . 1.2 grams
superfine sugar ½ cup 3.5 ounces 100 grams
pure vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon (1.2 ml) . .
fine-quality raspberry flavoring, or flavor of your choice (see Note) teaspoon . .
bittersweet chocolate, 60% to 70% cacao, chopped . 3 ounces 85 grams

Special Equipment

Two 17¼ by 12¼ by 1 inch half sheet pans, lined with nonstick liners such as Silpats or parchment | A large disposable pastry bag fitted with a ¼ inch round decorating tip (number 12) | An artist’s brush | A disposable pastry bag for the chocolate drizzle

Method

Preheat the Oven

Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 225°F/105°C.

Beat the Egg Whites into a Stiff Meringue

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy. Gradually raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and flavoring and continue beating for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue beating for 1 minute. The meringue should be stiff and glossy.

Pipe the Meringue Twigs

Fill the pastry bag fitted with the tip with the meringue. Pipe a small dot of meringue in each corner of the pan underneath the parchment to secure the paper. Pipe either 15 inch long twigs (the length of the pans) or 12 inch long twigs (the width of the pans) in rows about inch apart. Use a wet artist’s brush to tamp down the peak that forms when lifting the tip away.

Bake the Meringue Twigs

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes without opening the oven door. Turn off the oven and let the twigs dry for 2 hours (1 hour if the oven has a pilot light).

Cool the Meringue Twigs

Set the sheet pans on wire racks or on a heat resistant surface. Cool completely.

Drizzle the Meringue Twigs with Melted Chocolate

In a small microwavable bowl, stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds (or in the top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water, stirring often—do not let the bottom of the container touch the water), heat the chocolate until almost completely melted.

Remove the chocolate from the heat source and stir until fully melted.

Pour the chocolate into the second pastry bag. Cut a very small semicircle into the tip of the bag and drizzle the melted chocolate back and forth over the rows of meringue twigs. Let the chocolate set before carefully loosening and removing the twigs from the liner with a small offset spatula.

Store

Airtight: room temperature (low humidity), 3 months.