When I was home last week, friends asked if I still bake at home since I do that at work everyday."Of course! I can bake anytime for the people I love." I am sure a lot of people feel the same way too. It doesn't matter if it's an elaborate cake or some simple cookies. Freshly baked goodies make people feel loved and special.
Although I have just started work in the hotel for less than a week, I already noticed that colleagues from different departments like to stop by the bakeshop from time to time. Everybody is curious about the goodies we make for the day. If luck is on their sides, they may even get a taste of something fresh out of the oven. It still amazes me sometime to see people's contented smile, when given something as simple as a warm chocolate chips cookies.
Which is what I almost baked when I was home, but there's leftover eggwhites from other baking projects that OCT brought to my attention.
"Can you use up the eggwhites first before making other recipes?"
Almost immediately, some dessert ideas come to mind. The first one is pavlova. Minimum effort, improportional gratification. Instead of making one big pavlova, I piped the meringue into individual portions. Store in an airtight container, they can be kept for a week under room temperature or up to a month in the freezer. A perfect standby for the unexpected dinner party!
I topped the meringue shells with some whipped cream + homemade lemon cream and fruits we have in the fridge. A few strips of candied citrus zests help to balance the sweetness of the meringue but it's completely optional.
A simple and low fat dessert that both OCT and I enjoyed. Next, another simple recipe to use up MORE of the leftover eggwhites(much to OCT relief).
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
fruits of your choice
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan.
Place the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and cornstarch, followed by the vanilla extract and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes.
Fill the meringue into a piping bag with star tip. Pipe the meringue onto the parchment paper. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the outer side feel dry and hard when touched. Turn off the oven, keep the door ajar, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Remove the meringue disks from the parchment paper when they are completely cool. If not consumed immediately, keep them in airtight containers. They can be stored at room temperature for a week or freeze for a month.
When ready to serve, top meringue shells with sweetened whipped cream. Note that the recipe below is just a guide. I usually just whip some heavy cream in a bowl to soft peak, combined with vanilla extract and fold in some lemon cream. Taste to adjust.
Sweetened Whipped Cream:
2/3 cup cold heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup lemon cream
Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Don't overbeat! Fold in the lemon cream.
Pile your choosen fruits onto the cream. Enjoy!