It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and that means leftovers! In our house, that also means leftover Chantilly Meringuée ice cream. I only make it a few times a year, because it’s so rich, but it’s just about the most delicious thing you will ever eat.
The recipe is from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 2 by one of my cooking goddesses, Julia Child, and her writing partner, Simone Beck. After the popularity of Julie Powell’s blog, and then book, and then movie, people have rediscovered Child and Beck’s masterpiece cookbooks on French cooking–which makes me so glad. The only thing I don’t like about their recipes is that they are hard to read–so dense with prose and they skip around in pages because of the many steps. Drives me a bit batty.
But, if you’re willing to stick with them, these recipes are amazing. One of my all-time favorites is the one for Chantilly Meringuée–or Whipped Cream with Italian Meringue. It is one of the most delicious things my family and friends have ever tasted. And while you can use this recipe for fillings in cakes, we freeze it and eat it as ice cream. It’s light and fluffy–and you don’t need an ice cream maker to make it.
There are two basic steps: making the Meringue Italienne (Italian Meringue) and then use that to make the Chantilly Meringuée. Don’t let the number of steps intimidate you–it’s actually quite easy once you start doing it.
I usually make this a few hours before big holiday meals–most notably Thanksgiving and Christmas. I then place it in the freezer to get cold so it’s ready by the time we are having dessert. Since it’s an ice cream confection, it goes with almost anything–pie, cake, pudding, cookies, as well as on its own. And, I’ve even included an extra step you can take to make a chocolate version–so dang good it should be called Food of the Goddesses.
Chantilly Meringuée or Elegant Ice Cream
-adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 2
Special Equipment Needed
-a stand mixer is very helpful for this recipe. A hand mixer will do in a pinch.
-candy thermometer is very helpful unless you are familiar with finding the soft-ball stage using the ice water technique (which is actually quite easy)
-freezer-friendly containers for freezing the meringuée
For the Meringue Italienne
2 C granulated sugar
2/3 C water
3/4 C egg whites–about 5-6 large or extra large eggs
big pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Chantilly Meringuée
1 recipe of Meringue Italienne
2 C chilled heavy cream
2-4 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: if you want to make this chocolate, 1/2 C unsweetened chocolate + 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate, chopped)
1) To make the Meringue Italienne
Measure out all the ingredients before you start–this makes the process go much more smoothly
-combine the water and sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over medium high heat
-do not mix with a spoon, instead, swirl pan slowly by its handle to mix the sugar and water
-continue to swirl the liquid as it comes to a boil
-continue to swirl until it turns from cloudy to clear
-stop swirling pan, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer while you beat the egg whites
-in the bowl of the stand mixer, beat egg whites for about a minute–until they start to become foamy
-add the cream of tarter and salt
-beat, gradually increasing the speed to high, until the egg whites form stiff peaks
-beat in vanilla
-stop beating and go to next step
-remove cover from your sugar syrup, and insert candy thermometer if using
-raise heat and boil rapidly
-when the bubbles start to look thicker, watch the temperature or start dribbling drops into iced water
-boil until the mixture reaches the “soft-ball stage”–when it makes a definite but blobby shape when you try to form it into a ball under the ice water, or 238 degrees on your thermometer
-once the sugar syrup has reached the soft-ball stage, immediately start beating the egg whites again on medium speed
-carefully and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream into the egg white mixture as it beats until you’ve used all of the sugar syrup
-continue to beat the egg whites on medium high until shiny, stiff peaks form out of the mixture and the bowl is cool to the touch–about 10 minutes
-stop beating and set aside
2) to make the Chantilly Meringuée
-beat the cream until it has doubled in volume (don’t beat so long as to turn it into butter)
-beat in vanilla extract
-with a spatula, fold about 1/3 of the whipped cream into your Meringue Italienne mixture to lighten it.
-then scoop out the remainder of the whipped cream onto the meringue mixture and fold it in as rapidly and as lightly as possible–you want to try not to deflate the mixture too much
-once the mixture is combined, scoop it into a freezable container (we use a Tupperware container) and place in freezer until you’re ready to eat it. It will take a few hours to fully freeze, but even if it’s not fully frozen, it will still taste delicious
For the chocolate option:
-when you come to step 2, making the Chantilly Meringuée, melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until just melted
-beat the melted chocolate into the cream
-then follow the remainder of the Chantilly Meringuée instructions for folding the cream into the meringue mixture
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