So, this was the first time I attempted making meringues, or making any sort of meringue for that matter. They totally didn't turn out the way they were supposed to, but they were still really delicious. I got the recipe from Bakerella, and I think she got the recipe from someone else. I picked this recipe because it seemed really easy, and it only needed a few ingredients. Two hours later, I was incredibly frustrated and just wanted some cookies to stuff in my mouth!
The first part seemed pretty easy. I just separated some egg whites, simmered some water, and whisked the egg whites with some sugar over the water until the sugar was completely melted. This took much longer than expected and my hand hurt so badly afterwards!
Once this was done I took it off the heat and used the beater to whisk it. First I tried my stand mixer, but the whisk attachment didn't reach the meringue! So I resorted to my hand mixer, but it only comes with one whisk attachment! I don't know if this was a mistake and it just wasn't included, or if it should work just as well this way (I think it would've worked better with two).
So I whisked, and whisked, and whisked and whisked and whisked! I was waiting for "stiff and glossy peaks" to form. This did not happen. I whisked the meringue for so long, and nothing happened. It didn't seem to increase in volume at all. After struggling for a really long time, I decided that maybe I didn't do the first part correctly, and maybe the sugar hadn't melted completely. So I threw the batch away, and decided to start over.
This time, I used the hand mixer to whisk over the heat. This made this step happen so much faster! And I am absolutely sure the sugar was completely melted. Like Bakerella, I felt the mixture for any granules. So after this step, I once again took it off the heat and continued whisking. And basically, reread the last paragraph. Peaks would NOT form! I don't know if I was doing something wrong, or if it had to do with the mixer, or what... but it was horrible. I did some research and found that if your bowl is wet, or has any residue in it, it can keep peaks from forming, but I don't think that that was the cause (or at least I hope not cause if it's true meringues are not in my future).
So after mixing and mixing forever and ever and ever, I finally gave up and decided the meringue was as meringue-y as it was getting. I used an ice cream scoop to get uniform amounts (which was hard to do with it being liquidy). Then I baked for 8 minutes, rotated, and baked for 8 more minutes. They cracked nicely like they were supposed to, but I don't think they cooked properly. Maybe because they were too big. They seemed a little bit too gooey in the middle (note to self: make them smaller next time!). However, after the many failures, they actually turned out okay! And by okay I mean they were super delicious. Like, really delicious. Like I ate four of them before I even realized I had eaten one.
I think I'll try this again (or maybe another meringue recipe), and hopefully I'll figure out what was wrong with my technique. If anyone has any advice, please let me know! I want to get these right cause they were SOOOO good!