Monday, March 11, 2013

Strawberry & Meringue Napoleons


STRAWBERRY & MERINGUE NAPOLEONS
FOR THE MERINGUE:
8 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 C sugar

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM:
4 C powdered sugar
One 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4-5 T water

1 pint of strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 C strawberry jam, slightly heated in the microwave
Parchment paper (absolutely a must)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  To prepare the meringues, put the egg whites in a stand mixer.  Start beating on high.  When they are slightly frothy, add in the sugar slowly and the cream of tartar.  Whip this until there are very stiff peaks.  You'll know you're there when the meringue is sort of in a ball around the whisk.

Prepare two sheet pans by covering them with parchment paper.  I just cut them to fit the inside of the sheet pan.  Pipe out the meringue with a large star tip.  (Don't worry...if you don't have frosting bags, you can use a zipper bag with the corner snipped off or even just spread the meringue around.)  Pipe out 4-inch flat circles.  You should get 7-8 circles.  Bake for an hour to an hour and 10 minutes.  They should be crispy and browned. Let cool.

Next, cream together the butter and cream cheese.  Add in the powdered sugar and beat.  Add in the water slowly until the frosting is the right consistency, stiff enough to pipe out and not runny.

To assemble the napoleons, take one meringue and spread or pipe the buttercream all over the top.  Next spread on the softened jam.  Then top that with sliced strawberries.  Repeat as many times as you like.  On the top, just use the buttercream and a whole strawberry for garnish.

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