Ghost meringues are the perfect combination of excitement and ease for any Halloween feast.
I needed something show-stopping for my office’s Halloween potluck. And while I’d already signed myself up to bake my signature spanakopita, something sweet was also in order. I didn’t have a lot of time though. Then I thought back to a few years ago when I piped out ghostly mashed potatoes and thought, “why not make them sweet?” Meringue specters were the perfect idea.
When I was in baking school, the mere mention of MERINGUE sent many in my class running. I myself have faced the wrath of the meringue. In my first attempt to master macarons, I heated the sugar syrup for my Italian meringue to too high of a degree that it ended up cracking my cookies once I dropped them in the oven. A simple French meringue, however can be mastered with ease.
There are a few things to know when you’re making a French meringue:
1) Don’t whisk your eggs in plastic. It reacts with the egg whites and you’ll never get any peaks. Use a metal bowl or better yet, a copper bowl. Copper reacts with the egg whites to stabilize your meringue.
2) Always use a clean bowl and whisk. Any fats that come into contact with the egg whites will keep them from whipping up.
3) Don’t use artificial sugars. Real sugar helps the meringue keep its structure.
4) Most recipes call for using cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites. You can sub in the same amount of lemon juice. They do the same thing.
These ghost meringues were the easiest sweet treats to make. I just whipped up five egg whites in my kitchen aid until they were foamy, then slowly added 1 1/4 cups of sugar and let it beat on high until they formed still peaks. At this point, you’re going to want to eat the fluffy sweet mixture that’s in your bowl. Hold off! Just transfer them to a pastry bag with a large round tip and pipe out your ghosts on parchment paper or a baking mat. I used my macaron mat, which helped with size consistency.
Once they’re baked, let them cool entirely. Then melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and pour the chocolate into a pastry bag. Better yet, use a silicone decorating pen. You can add the chips un-melted into the shaft of the pen, microwave (make sure all metal attachments have been removed) it on low until the chocolate has started to melt, then pipe out eyes (and/or mouths) onto your ghosts.
Check out the full Ghost Meringue recipe: