Give Meringue A Caffeine Kick With Espresso

A classic meringue might seem like a piece of dessert magic. All you have to do is whip egg whites with sugar to create light, fluffy, swirly substance that's like a sugary cloud that dissolves in your mouth. An airy meringue is perfect for topping cakes or baking into crunchy cookies, but if you're in the mood to experiment, you can also get creative with the basic recipe by adding extra ingredients to give it an entirely new flavor and appearance. And for those who can't start their day without a cup of coffee, how about adding a hint of espresso to your homemade meringue?

This twist on meringue not only provides a little energy boost from the caffeine, but also elevates the flavor of the sweet treat. The robust coffee flavor, with its subtle bitterness, pairs perfectly with the plain but tasty sweetness of meringue. To enjoy espresso meringue in its most basic form, dollop it onto baking sheets and bake in the oven. Your kitchen will be filled with the delightful aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans as they bake. Once they've cooled, you'll have platefuls of crispy, espresso-infused treats that will please both coffee lovers and those with a sweet tooth alike.

How to mix espresso into your meringues

Making espresso-flavored meringues is almost as easy as making a plain meringue. After you've whipped together eggs and sugar until they're light and airy, just mix in some espresso powder. To make sure that the espresso powder is evenly distributed in the mix, carefully fold it into the meringue, then whisk for a few minutes until well-incorporated. If you want a stronger coffee flavor and aroma, you can also add a few drops of coffee extract in with the espresso powder.

If you're a coffee purist and don't like the idea of using instant coffee, don't worry — espresso powder isn't like instant espresso. It's simply brewed espresso that's been dehydrated. When you add it to your meringue, you'll get the same strong taste and aroma as a fresh shot of espresso, but it won't change the meringue's consistency by introducing excess liquid. Dry powder will give you far more consistent results.

As for ratios, one shot of espresso is equal to about a teaspoon of powder. Depending on how intense you want the flavor to be, you can add between one to two teaspoons of espresso to your meringue. Start with one shot, and if you want a stronger coffee taste, you can double the amount in a later batch. It's also notable that espresso powder can provide a burst of flavor to cakes, cookies, and other recipes that could be thrown off by extra liquid.