Lavender Meringues - A Provençal Kiss
Although I am more of a savory person, there are a few sweets that I will always devour in a heartbeat - macarons, éclairs, pâte de guimauve, marron glacés, scoops of nutella and meringues.
But in this post, I'll be focusing my sweet efforts on meringues. This airy dessert made of whipped egg whites and sugar, comes in many forms, such as a vacherin, 'île flottante and baked alaska because there are actually three different types of meringues - Swiss, Italian and French.
Italian and Swiss meringues are cooked, while French meringues are baked. Swiss meringues are often used as a base for buttercream frosting. Italian meringues are normally used as a topping for pies and cakes and to lighten ice cream. French meringues are customarily piped or spooned to make meringue kisses and nests or dessert shells.
So, this past weekend, during the ice storm, I decided to take a break from binge watching Season 3 of House of Cards to make a small batch of French meringues. I had bought edible lavender last summer in the South of France and thought it would be the perfect occasion to bake with this multi-purpose herb and make lavender meringue kisses. They were delicious! So much so, that I thought I'd share my base recipe (minus the edible lavender) that I've had since high school, in hopes that you will make them as well.
Lavender Meringue Kisses
2 egg whites
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 tsp of vanilla
1/4 tsp of edible lavender
few grains of salt
Set oven to 225F. Beat the egg whites. Sprinkle in delicately the sugar by tablespoons. Keep beating until firm peaks are formed. Once they are, put in the vanilla, edible lavender and salt. Mix everything together with a whisk. Then spoon the meringue batter onto parchment paper. Place in oven, and cook for an hour. Take them out and sprinkle lavender flowerheads on top of each for decoration and voilà!
Tip: Make sure it is a dry day because if it is humid, the eggs will not form firm peaks.
These lavender meringue kisses go well with a nice cup of hot tea or a glass of champagne.
Below are pictures of my lavender meringue kisses in the making.