Espumillas! What on earth are they? When I first heard the name, I thought they were a type of insect! The actual word espumillas literally means "little sponge" in Spanish, and refers to what most people know to be "meringues." Espumillas are either sold in packs or sold individually and stuffed with fruit or cream. Espumillas are a great way to use up leftover egg whites from a recipe that only called for yolks. I make a batch of these whenever I am making my milhojas cream because that recipe requires four egg yolks.
My recipe for espumillas uses much less sugar than other recipes I have seen. You can add more sugar if you like your meringues sweeter but I feel that this recipe is one of those recipes that tastes *exactly* like it was store bought. I refrain from using vanilla extract to keep the colors of the meringues looking bright. I enjoy making pastel colors but you can adjust the number of drops of food dye to make any color you desire.
4 egg whites
1 cup of confectionery sugar
One large, flat, aluminum baking pan
- Mix egg whites on medium-high until they become frothy white in color and semi-thick. Note that if they are frothy but the bubbles are still yellowish and not yet an opaque white in color, keep mixing.
- Once egg whites are thick and frothy white, slowly add in the confectionery sugar little-by-little, still mixing on medium-high.
- Continue to mix until the egg whites become silky white in color and as thick as you can get them - don't worry about them becoming too stiff because the sugar prevents a total thickening.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Scoop mixture into a pastry bag or piper with a swirly tip and pipe the batter out by swirling it around in a circle as it comes out, making medium-sized, swirly mounds.
- Place pan in oven and let cook slowly for about 2.5 hours, or until hard. Don't worry if they seem sticky in the oven if you try them, they will become airy and crunchy when you remove them from the heat
- Once done cooking, remove them immediately using a spatula and place them a wire rack to cool.
There are many other names for espumillas. They can also be called suspiros, literally "sighs" or "daydreams", as well as turron, the Guatemalan word for beaten egg whites and sugar. If you are in Mexico, they are called merengues, which is very similar to the French word meringue.