Meringues are a French and Swiss dessert made of whipped egg whites and sugar, and they are light, sweet, and crispy confections. To make traditional meringues, you beat egg whites into soft foamy peaks, and then keep whipping as you gradually add sugar until the peaks become stiff. Once you've reached the right consistency, you bake them at a low temperature in the oven for a long time. They take both technique and time.
These microwave meringues are incredibly easy to make and take minutes as opposed to hours. They are not as beautiful as traditional meringues (which can be gorgeously shaped into mushrooms and anything else), but they are definitely tasty and make a unique dessert.
- Crack an egg onto a plate.
- Separate the yolk from the egg using the water bottle method. Squeeze a little bit of the air out of the bottle, place it on the yolk, and then slowly let the bottle expand again to suck up the yolk.
- In a large bowl, mix the sugar and the egg white together.
- Mix until a thick, sticky dough forms.
- Cover a microwave-safe plate with a paper towel.
- Roll dough into walnut-sized balls for puffier meringues and non-spherical clumps for flatter meringues, and place on paper towel. They will puff out and triple in size in the microwave, so don't put them too close together.
- Making them in batches, do three at a time.
- The cooking time will depend on how powerful your microwave is. My microwave is 1,000 watts, and my meringues puffed out but did not burn when I microwaved them for 1 minute. I had to experiment with a few batches to figure out the best timing. You will have to adjust this for how powerful your microwave is (and where the hotspots are), but there is enough dough to experiment with at home.
- When they're done, remove them from the microwave and let them sit for about 30 seconds.
- Peel them gently from the paper towel. They will come off easily.
- Wait a minute or so before eating. They will be very hot inside. Trust me, I learned the hard way.
- You can serve your meringues topped with whipped cream and fruit or inside an Eton Mess, which is an English dessert made of pieces of meringue, berries, and cream.
Meringues aren't the only thing you can make in your microwave. You can make amazing 7-minute caramels, create gourmet chips, and even poach an egg. Aside from those, you can also dry fresh herbs, get more juice out of lemons, heat up better tortillas, pop perfect popcorn, and make better potting soil for plants. (PS: Did you know that aluminum foil is okay in the microwave? If you know what you're doing, of course. More info here.)