Like the meringue paste, the Spanish sugar coated "merengue" is actually the name of the pastry.
They're especially popular in Andalusia.
You either love or hate it as the sweetness can be a little too much for some of us.
However, by limiting the icing sugar to the upper layer of the puff pastry it could become one of your favorites.
A lot of bakeries sugar coat the whole pastry until it's completely white. Almost like a cube shaped snowball.
For the Italian meringue:
- 7 large egg whites
- 490 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 9 cl water
- 2 sheets of 20 x 30 cm (8" x 12") from the store or homemade.
- Bake the two sheets of puff pastry for 25-30 minutes at 180°. Slide another tray over the pastry sheet (without touching) before baking, to avoid excessive rise and browning.
- Let the sheets cool until they're cold.
- Boil the water with the sugar at medium heat.
- Meanwhile, with a hand mixer batter the egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla extract until it forms soft peaks.
- Measure the temperature of the sugar until it slowly reaches 128°C. When it does, add the hot sugar syrup gradually to the egg whites while the hand mixer is at medium speed. Keep mixing until bowl is lukewarm. Do not interrupt the process!
- Spread the meringue on one of the pastry sheets, until it's approximately 4 cm (more is fine too!). If you wish, you could use a piping bag with large nozzle. Here I used a metal offset spatula.
- Put the other pastry sheet on top and press it on the meringue until it's level. Go around with the spatula until all gaps are filled with meringue.
- Leave in a cool place for 1 hour. With a large knife cut the merengue carefully into 5 x 10 cm pieces.
- With a sieve, sprinkle a good layer of icing sugar on the merengue.
Tools used: Hand mixer, large bowl, digital thermometer, silicone spatula, metal offset spatula, sieve.