Day 360 – December 26
Meringues are becoming one of my favorite type of cookie. Relatively healthy, as far as cookies go, and pretty easy to make. I wanted to try out a chocolate meringue recipe and found this one using dark chocolate. I’ve made meringues lots of times, so I figured this would be a snap. Alas, it didn’t work out that way. For some reason, it took longer than usual for the egg whites to get to the correct consistency. I actually think that happened with my last batch of raspberry meringues. Maybe it was just the eggs. Anyway, I dumped the meringues in the oven and then turned it off after 1.5 hours, cracked the oven door open, and let the meringues sit. When I checked on them about 2 hours later, they were quite chewy and definitely not meringue-like. I turned the oven back on and cooked them for another hour to hour and a half. They were still chewy and sticking to the parchment paper. I decided to loosen them and let them sit upside down for a bit to see what happened. I should have done this long ago. They hardened up, and I do mean hardened. They were quite crispy but not at all light and fluffy like a meringue ought to be. The flavor was great, the texture, no so much. I kinda think it had something to do with the ratio of eggs to sugar in this particular recipe. I’m not ready to give up on dark chocolate meringues, though. I’ll just be hunting for a different recipe.
One thing I AM probably going to give up on is risotto. Seriously, that is such a giant pain to cook, or rather, babysit. I tried another recipe out of my Vegetarian cookbook and it was called Wild Mushroom Risotto. I love mushrooms, so I was willing to give this a go. The recipe called for both dried and fresh mushrooms, the arborio rice, broth and some seasonings. I doubled the recipe since we have a few extra people in our house this week. So I ended up with 3 cups of arborio rice and about 10 cups of broth. Yeah, that took FOREVER to blend into the rice! The final product looked yummy, but it wasn’t really all that great. I can confidently say that the dried mushrooms ruined the dish. They had the most bizarre flavor. I think fresh mushrooms would have been so much better. In addition, the mushroom to rice ration was really high. I love me my shrooms, but this was kinda nutso.
I’m sad that this recipe didn’t work out, especially since it was an expensive one. Mushrooms are generally not super cheap. The baby bellas are about $2/8oz. The dried mushrooms were crazy expensive. My mom bought the dried mushrooms and after the fact I discovered that they were $4/ounce! Yikes! So all in all, the dish cost about $25 to make. I suppose it might have been worth it if people would have like it. The 4 and 5 year olds thought it was yummy . .. . for the first 3-6 bites. Then, well, not so much. DH ate it, of course, but he did push most of the mushrooms off to the side of his plate. My parents thought it was really good, and I thought it was edible. Wouldn’t you know it, we had so much left over! I should have made the recipe as is instead of doubling it. Oh well! Better luck next time, right?