To experiment with replicating taste in another form, I thought it would be interesting to replicate the taste of a certain food in a kind of abstract entity. Almost the bubblegum dinner from willy wonka.
In order to find a "cloud" that has no flavour enough to hold all sorts of flavours, I thought it would be interesting to try out flavouring meringues. I would be testing two factors in the meringue – 1) ability to hold a shape as an interesting visual element & 2) ability to hold flavours.
I first tried out a basic italian meringue recipe with sugar to test the shape and also added parmesan cheese to see if the meringue takes dry flavourings well.
Personally enjoyed the parmesan meringues a little too much and ate them all! But they were too flat, soggy and couldn't hold a shape well. They had a nice gloss to it tho! But the sugar played too much of a sweet role to the meringues and would not work well with other flavourings like sour or bitter. Could work well for sweet based flavours and obtain more volume with further beating.
I tried to remove the sugar element in the meringue and basically was just whipped egg whites. This time, I just tried to see it's shape as well as how bland it was as it own for further flavouring.
I liked how well it piped and how well it held its 3D shape. They came out really light and fluffy while still voluminous. They tasted really bland as well. Later I ate them with scrambled egg yolks leftover from making this. Made a great brunch.
Later that night, I tried adding red colouring. Thinking of experimenting with some flavour, I boiled and reduced star anise into a teaspoon of flavouring and added to the unsweetened meringues. A chemical reaction between the colouring and the star anise flavours turned the meringue... GRAY?? They also became more watery and the texture was between the 1st and 2nd round of meringues.
They piped well and were more able to shape. However, IT TURNED OUT UGLY. Basically... 1) No liquid flavourings, not even 2 teaspoons & 2) Do not overbeat the eggs.
Meringues work amazingly with sugar and struggle with liquid flavouring. Needs more tests with powdered flavourings or try out other forms of tasteless clouds for savoury or non-sweet flavours.