Hye Thyme Cafe: Jasmine Meringues

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jasmine Meringues

Jasmine Meringues : Hye Thyme Cafe
Yes, I know that flower is not jasmine. ;)

I recently posted about some tea samples I received from Teavivre, one of them being a lovely jasmine tea (Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls Green Tea). Being a food blogger, I thought OK, I can try the samples and post a review of what I think of each, but I need to also incorporate tea into a recipe.

My first thought was scones, but then I realized that would be silly. I associate tea with scones - as in High Tea. What do you do when your scones contain tea? Drink coffee instead so you're drinking coffee and eating tea? Drink the same tea that you used IN the scones? That would be redundant. Nah. Then I thought about biscotti, but again, that's something I dunk in my coffee. I wouldn't want to dunk tea in my coffee. Then it hit me - meringues!  :)

That turned out to be a great choice!  A delicate flavor for a delicate treat.

3 lg egg whites
1/4 t cream of tartar
3/4 c suuperfine sugar *
1 packet (1T) Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls Green Tea
1/4 t vanilla
Violet food coloring and/or sugar crystals - optional

* I did not have any superfine sugar left, so I made my own by running sugar through the spice grinder until very fine. If you do likewise, just be sure to measure out the sugar after it has been ground.  

Whether you are starting with superfine or regular granulated sugar, use some of it to grind with your tea. You want the tea as fine as you can get it. If you know a day or two ahead that you will be making these, you might want to grind the tea/sugar then to let that flavor really infuse into the sugar (like when you stick a vanilla bean into sugar to make vanilla sugar), then sift it through a very fine sifter to catch any larger bits of tea leaves.

Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls Green Tea

  1. Preheat oven to 225
  2. Beat the egg whites on low to medium speed until nice and frothy
  3. Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form
  4. Increasing the speed, add the sugar (including the tea you mixed with sugar) a little at a time until stiff peaks form
  5. Add the vanilla and food coloring if using, and continue beating for another 30 seconds or so - should be smooth, thick, and glossy
  6. Pipe or spoon the meringue onto parchment-lined trays (I played around with a large star tip)
  7. Sprinkle with colored sugar crystals if desired - I only sprinkled some, as I was afraid the sugar might sink or start to dissolve - needn't have worried
  8. Bake for 40-45" - pay attention to your nose; you should start to smell the jasmine
  9. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside for at least a half hour to cool and finish cooking through

Optional - sprinkle with colored sugar prior to baking

Jasmine Meringues : Hye Thyme Cafe

Jasmine Meringues : Hye Thyme Cafe

Jasmine Meringues : Hye Thyme Cafe

Jasmine Meringues : Hye Thyme Cafe

Ha!  After all that talk of what to make with the jasmine - not wanting to drink tea with scones flavored with tea, etc., what did I do ... went to my sister's house for dinner and brought these with me. No big deal, right? What did I do on my way up to my sister's house? Yup, drive through Dunkin Donuts to get us both a coffee, so I still ended up drinking coffee with my tea lol. That didn't occur to me until just now. Sigh ...

Well, coffee or no coffee, we did enjoy the meringues, although I had an issue with the random bits of tea - thus my suggestion to pre-grind/infuse and sift. If you don't have time to do that, I would still recommend sifting, or maybe use a mortar and pestle to powder the tea rather than the spice grinder. I was especially happy when I got home later and realized I could still smell the jasmine in my apartment. I got a treat and an air freshener all rolled into one! ;)

Thanks again to the folks at Teavivre for the samples.  I never would have thought to do this otherwise!

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