If you make mayonnaise or other yolk-based sauces you will always have a pot (or more) of egg whites languishing in the fridge. Yet egg whites are a fascinating and fun ingredient.
More than meringues
Of course they can make meringues and meringues are versatile accompaniments to many desert dishes. Yet a few basic properties of egg whites make them much more versatile.
When whipped they form quite stable foams. The more they are whipped the more stable (since the air bubbles get smaller). The more water is added (within reason) 1 Reason here being defined as: if you get greedy eventually you reach a limit case and the whole thing collapses. the greater the volume of the foam.
Sugar (by increasing the viscosity of the water) helps stabilise the foam.
When heated the proteins in egg white coagulate, firming the foam.
This Scandinavian dessert uses some of these properties. It is dead simple, just whip egg white, add fruit juice or syrup and whip some more. Add sugar as needed for taste (and to stabilise) et voilà, Troll Cream!
Enter the Vauquelin
Martin Lersch, Norewegian molecular gastronome, uses the last of these characteristics to produce a variant of the Scandinavian ‘Troll Cream” that is like a cross between a Kiwi pavlova and a mousse. He names it in honour of French chemist Louis Nicolas Vauquelin.
Just make a Troll Cream, spoon the mix onto greaseproof paper and heat in a microwave for about 8-10 seconds. The timing is crucial as can be seen from the photo above. In our microwave the Vauquelin on the left had 10 seconds and is nicely done while the one on the right had 20 and has collapsed.
I used Blackcurrant syrup for the fruit, but the taste is (of course) only as good as the fruit, next time I will try something more sophisticated.
Vauquelin can naturally be baked (like meringues) but if the temperature is too high they will lose their colour as the sugar caramelises. One needs a temperature only a little above 100⁰C to dry them without caramelising the sugar. This is hardly worth the effort.
Notes [ + ]
|1.||↑||Reason here being defined as: if you get greedy eventually you reach a limit case and the whole thing collapses.|