In the world of cooking and other culinary arts, eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients that you can come across. They are used in varying amounts in countless different recipes, and they can be cooked in a number of ways too. Even if you split the egg yolks and the egg whites apart, both parts of the egg can be used for their specific properties.
The cooking world would not be anywhere close to where it is today if it wasn’t for some of the core ingredients that thousands of foods are based upon, such as eggs. Of course, one of the many problems that come with cooking is the fact that you may end up having more leftover foods than you know what to do with.
This is particularly a problem with foods that are commonly used as a part of other foods, rather than finished meals and ingredients that can be used in anything on their own. For example, if you have been making things with meringue and you have exhausted your supply of what you wanted to make, you may have absolutely no idea what to do with the leftover meringue.
Meringue is enough of a pain to make for most people that it would be a complete waste just to toss the leftovers out, but at the same time, meringue is such a specific ingredient that there really isn’t much that you can make with it, right? To know what your options are for what you can do with your meringue, you will first want to have a good idea of what exactly meringue is and what its properties are.
Knowing what you are dealing with is always going to be the first step to dealing with a problem, and the steps you need to take are no different when you need to try and make use of the food that you do not know what to do with.
Knowing What You Are Working with
Meringue is a common ingredient in baking. It can be used on its own as frosting or toppings to other finished goods, or it can be used as a way to enhance the texture of other dishes. Meringue is made almost exclusively with egg whites, rather than whole eggs.
The nature of meringue is that with enough patience and time, beating the egg whites can help them expand to about eight times their natural volume. From here, you typically add some sugar to the egg whites for the sake of taste and to help stabilize the egg whites so that they do not return to their original volume, leaving you with meringue that you can use for frostings, fillings, and desserts of their own.
The amount of sugar you have added to your meringue is going to play a role in dictating what you can do with your leftovers. Typically, the less sugar you add, the softer the meringue will be, being more suitable for cake toppings and for pie toppings.
On the other hand, when you add more sugar to the meringue, the sugar crystals help to harden the meringue, allowing you to create shapes and use the meringue for topping purposes on cakes and as decorations on other baked goods.
If you are planning to use your leftover meringue for other recipes and cooking projects, you are going to want to make sure that you know the texture of the meringue you are working with so that you can make the most out of it. The only thing that is worse than leftover ingredients is ingredients that have gone to waste because they were used improperly.
Making Use Out of the Meringue
Depending on the texture of the meringue that you have leftover, there are plenty of different things you can do with it. In some cases, you can have it stand alone to create your own dessert of your own flavoring. Other times, you can use it to make other foods or to enhance them as you please.
The easiest way you can make use of your meringue is to use it as a topping for other foods. Of course, this is going to naturally require you to have the other foods prepared to use the meringue with, but if you do, then this is the perfect excuse to use it.
Meringue can work as a topping for cakes, pies, tarts, and just about any other baked pastry out there. Keep in mind that the amount of sugar that you used is going to play a large role in determining how well your meringue will work as a topping, with the less sugar being used, the softer the meringue is going to be.
If you aren’t interested in using the meringue as a topping to other foods, whether you have other food available to use or not, you are probably going to want to make sure that you have some other options and ideas to use to utilize your meringue with. You can choose to utilize the meringue in cookies as its own ingredient. Because of the nature of meringue, it can work as a substitute for eggs in cookies, considering the fact that meringue is still technically an egg, just in a different form.
Meringue, if you have never heard of it before, can also function as its own dessert. This will commonly require you to use meringue that is a bit of a harder variety, as you are going to need the meringue to hold its shape and ultimately solidify into its own treat. However, with the right toppings and flavoring added to it, meringue can become a light and airy treat for you to enjoy, with the added benefit of being able to be any flavor that you wish.
Similarly, you can also use meringue to make the aptly named meringue roulade. This dessert combines the naturally light and airy texture of meringue with the softness of cream. Most people will add some toppings for extra flavoring, usually in the fruit and/or nuts category of foods to create a naturally healthy and delicious dessert.
Meringue can be shaped in a number of ways to create various types of desserts. Meringue, on its own and not just as a topping to pies and cakes or a filler in cookies, has a variety of forms that it can come in so that you can turn them into your favorite shape for dessert.
They may be more commonly found as meringue drops, but this is because this is the easiest way to dispense meringue when trying to bake. You can also choose to make “cigars,” which are generally just elongated strips of meringue that can work as an accent for ice cream, puddings, and so on.
You can also create an entire cake based on meringue. Rather than just using the egg whites as a topping to other cakes, using the meringue itself as the bulk of the cake will grant you a gluten-free treat that anyone in the house can appreciate. Thankfully, meringue takes on food coloring and flavoring well, so that if you are searching for a cake that is a specific flavor, you won’t even have to give a second thought to creating it.
These are just a few of the ways that you can make use of your leftover meringue. You don’t always have to create something from scratch to use up the rest of your meringue. Sometimes, all you have to do is help yourself to a dollop or two and you will already have meringue drops that you can eat as you please.