Meringue Porcupines – Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

March 7, 2010


This is the batch I made. Appetizing, huh?

Today marks the beginning of the cookie-making. I thought, why not start at the beginning of Martha’s book.

I was a little disappointed and slightly grossed out to see that the first recipe is a confection called, Meringue Porcupines. Yum! Yum! Duh-rool!

These don’t really seem like two words that belong together except perhaps in a Beatles lyric. The Meringue Porcupines would be an interesting name for a Japanese girl band or maybe a gay rugby team, though.

Basically what I am baking looks like a sea creature from Nintendo’s Super-Mario game. (I’ve been playing a lot of Wii lately.)

Meringues are something my Mom and Grandma would cook up during the holidays. They have the texture of the marshmallow treats you’d find in Lucky Charms- Blue moons, yellow stars, green clovers, white porcupines!

Meringue consists of egg whites, sugar, and creme of tartar.

Creme of tartar bothers me. What’s a tartar and how the hell do you milk it?

Anyhoo- you whip these together till they become the consistency of plaster and then scoop them out onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Martha must own stock in a parchment paper company. Every freakin’ recipe calls for parchment paper!

With a spatula, you then lightly tap the gooey mound of meringue until it forms little spikes…hence the name, porcupine. You bake this on low heat for an hour and then you pull it out of the oven, collapse the bottoms with your thumbs and place back into the oven to continue to cook for 20 minutes.

After they’ve cooled you fill one side with a heavy whipped cream filling flavored with almond extract and fill the other with apricot preserves and mush the two sides together into a spiky football.

The end result looks like a sea urchin.

Having eaten sea urchin (not a pleasant experience, by the way) I can’t help but notice that the apricot preserves are the same color as the only edible part of an actual sea urchin… The ROE!

Sea urchins really only have two purposes in life- Be spiky and make more sea urchins. Because of this, their little bodies are filled with nothing but eggs which many cultures consider a delicacy. These are probably the same cultures that enjoy locusts, crickets, and Spandau Ballet.

That said, these cookies look like albino sea urchins oozing apricot-flavored roe.

They also have to be served immediately because one side is filled with flavored whipped cream and you don’t want that to melt and add to the ooze factor.

I have decided to bring them to my friends’ house tonight for an Oscars gathering.  These particular friends don’t like sweets but I will force them to try one and will report back tomorrow on the taste verdict.

And the award for the most unappetizing use of meringue goes to…

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2 Responses to “Meringue Porcupines – Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?”

  1. miriam Says:

    MERINGUE PORCUPINES…. FABULOUS! Especially early on a Monday morning with coffee. Loved the apricot flavor and the sweetness of the light & sweet merigue.

    Little known fact for those of you wondering about where cream of tartar comes from… the baobab tree!

    http://geoimages.berkeley.edu/geoimages/johnson/Biomes/BiomesAfrica/Baobabtree.html

  2. Jen Says:

    I LOVED the meringue porcupines despite my tendency to prefer sweets consisting of at least 50% chocolate. And I have to disagree with your assessment of sea urchins as wel…. 私はうにがとてもおいしだと思いますよ。 ^_^


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