20 November 2007

So what if they're ugly?

I think we'd all want to think that looks don't matter, but ultimately, we all know they do. In fashion school, it's almost everything that people care about. Especially with a lecturer who can't seem to stop pointing out who's putting on weight. And when I was eating at a certain local Western food chain, I realised it just wasn't the same without a menu with pretty pictures. I need pretty pictures to tell me what to eat! But when I went to the website of that certain local Western food chain, I thought it might be for the best for the menu to not have any photographs.

So, what got me into this good looking VS bad looking talk? Well, meringues. Yeah, those that you get from baking whipped egg whites and sugar.

I had leftover egg whites from baking the lavender shortbread and decided to make some meringues out of them. I always had the impression that meringues were difficult to make so it was only then did I decide to take my first step into the realm of meringue making. And it wasn't hard. I just erm, needed to not be too hasty. I remembered seeing a recipe for meringues that Brilynn had put up and went back to look for it.

Now this is where it started going a little haywire. No, Brilynn's recipe was fine. Great actually. It was me. I swear next time I will read recipes again and again until I can memorise them before proceeding. And I swear I would never underestimate 4 egg whites. Because you see, my oven is small. Like puny, small. I never expected 4 egg whites to grow into that much meringue! And my baking sheet wouldn't fit half the piped meringues. Whipped egg whites can't sit and I was in such a haste to well, use up my egg whites that I tried speeding up the baking process by turning up the heat and forgot the last part of the recipe: leave in oven after baking for another hour. Oops.

Now after all these talk, where does the ugly part come in? Like right here. Now. So meringues obviously have to have some time in the oven at a fairly low temperature for them to bake well. And my rushing things wasn't going to give me nice meringues. The first batch browned too quickly. And didn't set. So they were kind of squishy, much less say photogenic. I had to destroy that evidence! Okay let's have the second batch then. By then I realised I wasn't going to get to use up all that meringue. To cut losses, I concentrated on that batch and did *almost* what the recipe said. But the meringues were still too brown. Amateur piping skills didn't help make my meringues any more attractive.

And guess what my sister called them. Ugly biscuits. Yeah. Thanks. And it turned out that shooting ugly biscuits made them uglier. The humidity in Singapore just wouldn't spare these poor little meringues alone. They got tacky and stuck to each other, disfiguring themselves in the process. Sigh. But! Big BUT. They were tasty. And that's what counts, right?

Because it was so long ago and I can't remember what I did to create my meringue concoction, please head down to Jumbo Empanadas and try out the meringue recipe. Even though mine didn't turn out all that great, they were slightly crisp on the outside and dissolved away in the mouth. Almost like how candy floss would. Leaving a fresh, lemony flavour lingering on the tongue. I bet yours would be better if you followed the recipe well.

Oh, and please use an electric mixer. I can't imagine you whipping the egg whites manually like my friend's boyfriend.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Your cookies are not ugly - they look wonderful! Unique and beautiful.
And your photos are amazing.

Anonymous said...

is that choux puff?its look like that..