Desserts · European (Western and Eastern) Cuisine

Lazy Meringatas

Merginata is an Italian frozen dessert cake that consists of whipped cream sandwiched between 2 meringue rounds (just like an ice cream sandwich but more ethereal). Lazy meringata is just free form meringue piled high with whipped cream created by yours truly. I’m sure I will make the real version sometime soon…it’ll just take a little discipline not to eat all the meringues prior.

I’d like to imagine that if I could eat a cloud, it would taste like this dessert. Poofy meringues piled high with whipped cream and drizzled with a chocolate espresso sauce.  It’s love at first sight and it’s like eating nothing at all…at least that’s why I keep telling myself.  This dessert is supposed to be eaten frozen but you may find it hard to store it in the freezer for so long because it does taste fabulous with the meringues fresh out of the oven and topped with whipped cream.

I am extremely untalented when it comes to decorating with frosting or chocolate, hence the sporadic drizzles of chocolate.

Note: the meringues can be stored in an airtight container and used for another recipe like Meringues with Strawberry and Papaya. They can also be frozen with the whip cream for 1-2 days. You may find that the whip cream may have melted slightly while in the freezer but it’s still just as tasty!

Ingredients

For the merginues:
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup large egg whites from about 4 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the cream and chocolate espresso sauce:
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup hot brewed espresso

Directions

1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 225 degrees.

2. Sift 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with confectioners’ sugar; set aside.

3. Place egg whites in large bowl of electric mixer. Using whisk attachment, whip them on low speed just until frothy. Increase speed to medium, sprinkle in 2 tablespoons reserved granulated sugar, and continue whipping to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/3 cup reserved granulated sugar; continue whipping to stiff, glossy peaks. Stop mixer; rub some meringue between your fingers. If smooth, proceed to next step. If still grainy, continue beating until smooth.

4. Sprinkle sifted powdered-sugar mixture, ginger, and cinnamon over meringue; fold in with rubber spatula until just incorporated.

5. Use a compass or large bowl or glass to trace 4-inch circles on parchment paper. Lay parchment on baking sheet and dab a small quantity to tack down corners of parchment paper while you work. Use the back of a spoon to carefully spread about 1/2 cup meringue inside each traced circle. Still using the spoon, form an indentation in the center, forming a decorative cup about 1/4 inch thick in the center and 1-inch high around the edge. Shape a couple of 1 1/2 inch disks with the spoon and remaining meringue. These extra meringues are used to test for doneness.

6. Bake meringues, switching positions of baking sheets after 30 minutes, until one of test samples releases easily from paper and snaps crisply after 5 minutes of cooling, 60 to 80 minutes. Once sample is crisp when tested, remove baking sheets from oven and place on cooling racks until meringues are room temperature, about 30 minutes. Carefully remove cooled meringues from paper. Set aside until ready to fill.

7. For the cream: In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 2 cups of the cream with the confectioners’ sugar until firm. Fold in one-fourth of the chocolate. Spoon & dab the cream into the centers of the meringue or fill a pasty bag and pipe the cream into the centers of the meringues. Place the meringues into the freezer for at least 3-4 hours.

8. For the sauce: Meanwhile, melt the remaining chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Off the heat, whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of cream and the espresso. When ready to serve, remove the meringatas from the freezer and drizzle with the chocolate espresso sauce.

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