Submitted by Jeanne
Chantilly Meringuée or Elegant Ice Cream
The days after Thanksgiving mean leftovers! In our house, that also means leftoverChantilly Meringuée ice cream. I usually make it a few times a year, but I really should make it more often because it’s just about the most delicious thing we’ve ever eaten.
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. I love bothMastering the Art of French Cooking books. The recipes look complicated but, if you’re willing to stick with them, they are amazing. One of my all-time favorites is the one for Chantilly Meringuée—or Whipped Cream with Italian Meringue. 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.
This recipe looks somewhat difficult at first glance. The complication is that it has two distinct steps. First you make one recipe, then go ahead a few pages and use what you’ve just made in another recipe. But, if you actually read the recipes, they’re simple and straightforward. I’ve made it often over the years and it comes out perfectly every single time. Leave it to Julia to share a recipe that is so simple at its heart and yet so elegant.
There are two basic steps to creating this confection: 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.
This recipe also contains one of my favorite cooking techniques: combining sugar syrup with whipped egg whites to create a shiny and perfect meringue. Years ago, my friend Ingrid showed me how to do this—and it looked like magic! But, it’s actually a technique that serious cooks use fairly often—most notably in buttercream frosting. It gives me a sense of pride each time I do this—feeling like like I am following in a long line of experts who’ve discovered the perfect technique. And I love the fact that it requires the cook to trust his or her instincts and know that it will come out. And this is what Julia taught—have fun and trust your instincts.
I usually make this several hours before big holiday meals—most notably Thanksgiving and Christmas. I then place it in the freezer to freeze 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 incredibly good it should be called Food of the Goddesses.
I’ve rewritten the recipe here to be in a linear order. I’ve used all of Julia’s steps, but placed them in a more modern format. I’ve also included my own optional addition for for making a chocolate version.
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 Italiennemixture 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 optional chocolate version:
-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