I am taking my inspiration here from the Pavlova, which is another simple and delicious dessert. It’s an Australian summer dessert with a crispy meringue crust on the outside and a soft interior. Like this dessert, whipped cream and fresh fruit make for a simple yet spectacular presentation.
You’ll love this dessert because it’s so easy to make and is sure to impress friends and family. It’s simplicity is deceiving. And you can use these cups for ice cream or other fillings too.
Fresh berries on top are sure to please just about anybody too!
If you can master this recipe, you’ll have a new technique and building block in your pastry book that you can use for so many things. Your final shell is going to be crispy through and through, unlike the Pavlova.
We are actually using a dacquoise recipe here to make a type of meringue cup. The dacquoise is batter of egg whites and nut flour and sugar which is then baked into a layer and is commonly used in French pastry in for cakes, shells, and macarons.
Keep that in mind when you’re looking to make something new. You can pipe this recipe with a pastry bag into large circles, bake, and then use as a layer between lemon curd, chocolate ganache, or other fillings, for an amazing cake. You can make shells with it as we’re going to do here. You can make little crispy meringue cookies, or anything else you can dream up. How about dipping those cookies in chocolate?
You don’t need any special equipment to make these cups, but if you like, you can use an 825 star tip to pipe these. It adds a little more elegant touch to the finished look.
In this recipe, it’s important to first beat the egg whites until foamy, and then slowly add the sugar until you get soft peaks. We don’t want to add in too much air so that we can maintain a stable egg white mix that won’t fall when baked.
After the meringue has been formed, we’re going to slowly fold in a blend of powdered sugar and almond meal. I’d like to say that by using almonds this recipe is slightly healthier, but that might be a stretch.
You can eyeball your size or draw a circle about 4″ in diameter to guide you as you make your cups.
For your egg whites, use eggs at least 4-5 days old. You will get better results.
Some will argue that bringing your egg whites up to room temperature will also give you left your results fluffier. However, in my experience, this is not a deal breaker so if you want to use cold egg whites go ahead.
If using a handheld beater, use a heavy bowl so that you can add your sugar while beating and your bowl will stay in place.
You can easily dry your shells overnight in the oven, up to 18 hours. If you need to store them, be sure to put them in an extremely airtight container. Humidity will quickly soften them up.
If your shells crack or break, don’t worry. You can glue any pieces back together using the whipped cream when you serve.
Measure the egg whites by weight.Egg sizes can vary.
When separating your egg yolks, be absolutely sure there is no yolk in your whites or they won’t be fluff up properly when beaten.
I recommend wiping your mixer bowl with a paper towel soaked in vinegar. You want to make sure it’s extremely clean and absent of any fat or oil, as these will prevent your eggs whites from foaming properly.
- 180 grams egg whites about 6 egg whites
- 84 grams sugar
- 154 grams almond flour or finely ground almonds
- 154 grams 10x powdered sugar regular powdered sugar
- 3 cups mixed berried (fresh strawberries raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
- 1.5 cups heavy cream whipped
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare to 11 x 17 sheet pans with parchment paper or silpats.
- Begin by whipping egg whites on medium speed in a kitchen maid or with a hand mixer. Beat until beginning to foam.
- Once they have started to foam well, add sugar in gradually, a tablespoon full at a time.
- Beat at high speed until the whites begin to turn glossy and hold soft peaks. You can tell by pulling the whisk out and they peak should hold. Do not over beat.
- Combine almond flour and powdered sugar well.
- Fold the almond flour/sugar into the whites gently into three portions, scooping up from the bottom. Do not stir.
- Using a large spoon, make a mound about 1 inch high end the size of your palm on the parchment sheet. Press down gently in the middle to form a cup or mild indentation.
- Repeat until all the meringue is used up, you should get about six portions.
- Place in the warm oven, and immediately lower temperature to 250°.
- Allowed to bake 90 minutes, turn off oven and allow to cool in oven. You may leave in overnight to dry out well.
- To serve, prepare whipping cream, and place a portion in the center of each baked meringue.
- Talked with a generous portion of fresh berries.
You can add lemon or orange zest to the meringue with the almond/sugar mixture to add additional flavor.
If stored several days, the meringue may soften up, especially in a humid climate.