I've been seeing these cute little meringue ghosts over the Internet. I totally fell in love with them and thought they would look super cute on a cupcake. I just love how whimsical and very airy they look and knew that they would be the perfect topper for my next Halloween inspired cupcake. And this is also a first for me. I've never made a baked meringue before, so I was a little apprehensive about this part.
These ghosts are so simple to make and are pretty addictive, LOL. I found a great recipe/video on how to make them over on the Joy of Baking. I used my spice/coffee grinder to turn my sugar into super fine sugar. You want it fine, but not so fine that you make powdered sugar. I really love how the video suggests to touch the meringue and rub it through your fingers to see if all the sugar has dissolved properly. I do think that I should have baked these on the top rack of my oven, since the bottoms did get a little brown, but they are yummy non the less. The only change I made was use almond extract, since I did not have any clear vanilla. I really liked the almond flavour in them. I also piped the eyes on using some black decorator frosting, but feel free to use candy eyes or even mini chocolate chips.
Meringue Ghost Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
3 egg whites
1/2 C raspberry/blackberry puree (strained of seeds)
1/3 C vegetable oil
1 C water
1 lb butter
6-7 C powdered sugar
2 Tbs vanilla
2-3 Tbs whipping cream
green Wilton food colour gel
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of Tartar
1 C super fine sugar
1/2 tsp clear vanilla or 1/4 tsp almond extract
In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, egg whites, berry puree, oil and water according to package directions. Place paper liners in cupcake try and fill them 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until set in center. Cool completely.
For Meringues: Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (105 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) plain tip.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract. Note: The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.
Before placing the meringue ghosts on the cookie sheet, place a little of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper. This will prevent the paper from sliding. Transfer the meringue to the pastry bag and, holding the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe, with even pressure, about 2 inch (5 cm) high mounds of meringue. Carefully press two candy eyes, edible silver degrees, or two miniature chocolate chips into each meringue ghost.
Bake the meringues for approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until they are dry and crisp to the touch. Turn off the oven, open the door, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours, or even overnight.
The Meringue Ghosts will keep several days at room temperature.
Makes 20-24 Meringue Ghosts
For Frosting: In your mixer bowl, beat the softened butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time and beat until incorporated. Add in whipping cream, vanilla and a bit of the colour gel and beat until well combined and fluffy.
To Assemble: Transfer frosting into a large pipping bag, fitted with a leaf tip. Pipe small amounts of frosting on the cupcakes, to resemble blades of grass. Gently place a meringue ghost onto the center of each cupcake.
This post linked to
What's Cooking Wednesday