You know those days when you’re so tired you just wish you had an IV of espresso in your arm? I hear you. The problem is that doing so would probably kill you. These espresso meringues will not. And they are delicious.
I’ve discovered they make a really good substitute for breakfast too, since basically they’re like eating your eggs and your coffee in a more efficient and delicious way. Efficiency is my drug. Just make sure you set your alarm for 4am since they take 3 hours to bake.
Seriously though, the 3 hours is non-active and meringues are one of the simplest and most elegant treats to make.
All you need is a couple of egg whites, some brown sugar, instant coffee, a dash of vanilla and a pinch of salt and you’re set. If you’re anything like me, those ingredients are pantry staples and you don’t even have to plan ahead for these. I am forever planning ahead and it often takes the fun out a recipe by the time you get to creating it. No need to worry about that here.
Look at that… barely any ingredients and the result is about 4 dozen gorgeous, light, crispy, caffeinated treats to bring to work (brownie points) or break out at a brunch event or after a dinner party.
The only thing I will HIGHLY recommend is a stand mixer if you’re going to get into the meringue game. I got my first one ever for Christmas this year so you can expect to see a lot more recipes from me that involve extensively beating egg whites. It’s like I just discovered electricity or something.
A hand mixer will do but it’s exhausting and doesn’t get quite the same ideal result because of the blades.
So whack your oven on to 350F / 175c, grab your mixer of choice, and beat 2 egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff.
Add in a 1/2 cup of brown sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of instant coffee…
Continue to beat until very think and glossy.
How gorgeous does that look?! According to my sister-in-law, it is a rule that you have to like the beater when making meringue. She’s a wise woman.
Another amazing thing about meringues is that you can make them whatever size, shape and color you want. These are already a gorgeous coffee brown thanks to the instant espresso, but have some fun with the shapes. Or just dollop them onto your foil-lined baking sheet with a teaspoon, it works and they still taste awesome.
I used a piping bag and went with a pretty basic “dollop” …hindsight is 20/20, right?
Now all you have to do is pop them in the oven, turn it off, and let the meringues bask in there for 3 hours at least. Don’t peek! You’ll f*ck them up. They need the retained heat. Thankfully, since the oven is off you can leave the house and be productive and avoid temptation… or listen intently to half of the Serial podcast series without interruption. You could even make them in the morning and leave to go to work. Meh…
When ready store in an airtight container for about 3 days or freeze for later. Honestly though… just eat them within 3 days and share them with your friends. Maybe your friends will share something back.
2 egg whites
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (or coffee)
Preheat oven to 350F / 175c
Beat together the egg whites and salt until stiff. Add the vanilla and instant espresso and continue to beat. Slowly add the brown sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the batter is stiff and glossy.
Pipe, or dollop, the batter onto a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil, place sheets into the oven and turn the oven off. Leave in the oven, unopened, for 3 hours.
Store in an airtight container. Cheers!
Whiskey & Chanel