My local market recently put raspberries on sale at a ridiculous price: 3 boxes/$1. After I stopped staring in disbelief, I loaded up my cart and went to checkout, where I was met with a scolding glance as the cashier swiped all 18 of my raspberry boxes. Yes, 18. Don’t you judge me.
So, obviously, this week’s dessert needed to be raspberry! (And maybe’s next week’s… and the week after that…)
I’d been in the mood for fruit meringues for a while, so I decided some cute meringues were just what the doctor ordered! I played with a few ideas for pink blobs (lots of Pokemon came to mind), but ultimately decided on Kirby! Ahhh, Kirby. You cute, sassy little jerk. You have inhaled so many of us, and now the tables have turned.
Raspberry Kirby Meringues
180g (1 1/2 cups) raspberries
200g (1 cup) sugar
Pinch cream of tartar
4 egg whites
Red gel food colorin
About 50g (1/4 cup) each of white and dark tempered chocolate or candy melts
Vegetable oil (optional)
Edible markers (black, red)
Makes approximately 12 Kirbys.
Timing Note: Allow two days, as the meringues have to bake for a very long time.
1. Puree your fresh berries and run them through a sieve to remove the seeds. Combine the raspberry juice and about 2/3 of the sugar and bring to a boil. Boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced to about 1/2 cup volume and is thick and syrupy. While the mixture is boiling, combine your egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer.
2. Once your syrup is just about done, beat the egg whites on high speed, gradually adding the remaining 1/3 of the sugar, until the whites are just before stiff peaks. Continue to beat, drizzling in the hot raspberry syrup and taking care not to hit the beaters with it. Mix until the meringue is even in color and has formed stiff, glossy peaks.
3. Preheat your oven to 75°C (170°F). Set aside about 3/4 cup of the meringue mixture and mix a few drops of red gel food coloring into it to darken it, then fill it into a small piping back with a ~1/4″ round tip. Fill all but about 1/2 cup of the remaining meringue into a large piping bag fitted with a 1/2″-3/4″ wide round tip. Fill the final 1/2 cup into a small piping bag fitted with a ~1/4″ round tip.
4. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and begin piping your Kirbys on the sheets. First, use the large piping bag with the large round tip to pipe ~1 1/2″ diameter round bulbs about 1″ apart. This may take some practice, but here are a few tips:
- Hold the bag about 1″ above the surface of the sheet as you pipe.
- Push the meringue out in fast, swift motions. If you push the meringue out of the bag slowly the bulbs will not be smooth.
- Finish piping each bulb with a bit of a flick to prevent having a huge peak on top.
- It’s okay if your bulbs have a bit of a peak; just gently dampen your fingers and carefully pat the peak down.
- Don’t be afraid to re-do! Practice a few on a plate and scrape the meringue back into the bag afterward.
5. Once your bulbs are piped, use the smaller bag of pink meringue to pipe two little arms on the side of either bulb with the same motion you used to make the large bulbs. Now, use the bag with the red tinted meringue to pipe Kirby’s shoes at the bottom of each bulb. I used any leftover red meringue to pipe little hearts on the sheet.
6. Place your meringues in the oven and bake them for 6-8 hours, or overnight. You aren’t so much cooking them as drying them out.
7. Once your meringues are done and cool, begin on the face. Don’t let them sit out too long, or they’ll get soft and sticky. If you are using real chocolate, melt your dark chocolate together with a few of drops of vegetable oil. If you are using candy melts, simply melt them. Fill the chocolate into a small piping bag, snip a tiny bit off the edge to pipe, and begin piping Kirby’s features on parchment paper. Pipe at least two eyes for each Kirby (you may want extras). Feel free to have fun with it; he can be winking, scared, etc. Now melt the white chocolate with a few drops of vegetable oil (or if using candy melts, melt by themselves) and fill them into a small piping bag, snipping the end as you did for the first bag. Pipe small dots of light onto Kirby’s eyes to give them a bit of dimension. Set aside.
8. Use tiny dabs of melted chocolate to secure the eyes to each dry and cool meringue. Now, using your edible marker, draw on Kirby’s mouth. You’re done! Store the meringues in an air-tight container for up to a week.