The texture of the finished meringue can be varied from dry and crisp to chewy
depending upon the oven temperature and baking time.
Meringue baked or, more properly, dried in a preheated 225ºF. oven for 1 to 1½
hours until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean,
will be white, dry and crisp. The oven should be turned off and the meringue
left in the oven for at least an hour longer. A shorter baking time will produce
a chewier center. For a light golden hue, bake at 250ºF. for less time or until
the center is done as desired.
Hard meringues may be stored for several months in a tightly sealed container
with waxed paper between the layers.
If meringue should lose its crispness, reheat it in a preheated 250ºF. oven for
15 to 20 minutes.
Golden Cadillac Soufflé Glacé
For the meringue:
4 large eggs, whites only
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar, plus extra for decorating plate
For the soufflé:
1 pint chilled heavy whipping cream
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar (divided)
3 to 4 oz. (6 to 8 T.) water
Galliano liqueur (Strega liqueur may be substituted)
You'll need to make the meringue the day before serving the dessert, so it has
time to dry out. To make the meringue, preheat oven to 225°F. Whip four egg
whites into soft peaks. Pour the powdered (not granulated) sugar into a small
saucepan with enough water to dissolve. Bring to a boil and cook until the
temperature reaches 235°F.
Prepare an ice bath for the whipped egg whites, and place the egg whites over
it. In a steady stream, add the hot sugar syrup to the whipped egg whites,
continuously beating with a wire whisk.
On a sheet pan lined with baking paper or waxed paper, spread the meringue 1/2
inch thick. Bake until crisp.
Break up meringue and crush with a rolling pin to a coarse powder, leaving in
some small chunks. Place a tablespoon of the meringue into the bottom of each
plastic cup, covering the bottom. Set aside leftover crumbs for later.
To make the soufflé, beat the whipped cream to stiff peaks, then refrigerate.
Beat the egg yolks until they have doubled in volume and stiffened. Pour 3/4 cup
sugar into a small saucepan with enough water to dissolve; boil until it reaches
235°F. Prepare an ice bath. In a steady stream, add the hot sugar syrup to the
beaten egg yolks, whisking continuously for a minute or two, until the mixture
has cooled slightly. Transfer to the ice bath and continue beating until cool;
set aside in refrigerator.
Repeat the same procedure with the egg whites and remaining 3/4 cup sugar,
refrigerating until cool. Using a rubber spatula, fold the beaten egg whites and
yolks together in a mixing bowl, gradually adding the Galliano liqueur. Divide
the mixed soufflé evenly between the prepared plastic cups. Sprinkle the tops
with the remaining meringue crumbs. Place in the freezer until firm. To serve,
dust 6 to 8 plates (depending on the number of soufflés made) with powdered
sugar. Unmold the soufflés by going around the inside edge of each cup with a
thin knife. Invert each cup over a plate.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.