Monday, January 18, 2010

Cocoa meringue kisses (p. 771) and Cherry marshmallow nut gelatin (p. 812)

I have had both a success and a fail with previous meringue kisses. I LOVED the nutty meringue kisses and had high hopes for Cocoa meringue kisses (p. 771). They were made exactly like the other meringue kisses (much like TJOC itself, I'm going to send you to previous posts if you want to know the beginning of the recipe) except cocoa is added with the sugar.

Again, the stupid cookies didn't rise!

And were flat!

ARGH! Why won't they consistently turn out? I loved the nutty meringue kisses when they worked! I know other people who live in high-altitude read this blog--any advice? The egg whites just won't whip up stiff.

That being said, the flavor of the cookies was really good but extremely chocolatey. They were way lighter than they looked and were light and delicious. I love meringues, why don't they love me? I'm going to keep trying to fix the problem because I think the cookies will eventually be worth it. Honestly, these are the ultimate diet cookies. They only have egg whites, almost no sugar, and some extracts.

After eying some of those marshmallow fluffy desserts in the deli, I decided to try to make my own. I thought Cherry marshmallow nut gelatin (p. 812) might be close.

I mixed boiling water (I just read an article in Cook's Illustrated about how you should measure the water after boiled, not before, because of evaporation loss), cherry gelatin, and club soda (which made the mixture fizz furiously).

I mixed in cherries, almonds, and marshmallows:

And refrigerated it. While it wasn't what I was looking for, it was good. Really, really, really sweet though. If you don't like extremely sweet desserts (and I don't), this is not the dessert for you. The almonds and cherry flavors went well together--you don't realize how similar the flavors are until you smell almond extract.

If you've noticed an uptick in my cooking, it's because I am working on my PhD dissertation and finishing up my data so I can analyze it. It takes all of my brain power and I'm using cooking to decompress and relax. So, for the next two months, I think I will probably cook a whole lot. And the more stressed I get, the more interesting truly complex recipes look. Does anyone else calm down by cooking?

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  1. You know I was thinking about this, did this recipe use Cream of Tarter? As it helps to stabilize egg whites. Also, I've been reading a new baking tips book and it said not to whip egg whites beyond a soft peak point in high altitude. So maybe it's one of those reasons?

  2. It does use cream of tarter! Honestly, the recipe has very very few ingredients. I think it does have to do with the whipping of the eggs. I will have to try them again--they were SOOOOO delicious when they turned out. Actually, they were pretty good even flat.

  3. I've noticed when making meringue anything that if the bowl is too warm, the eggs too warm, even a drop of water in the bowl or a single crumb of anything on the spoon, the eggs don't whip up right - I end up starting over with an all new set of tools and ingredients.


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