I love to see a marshmallowy meringue topping on just about any dessert, from a layer cake topped with a cloud-like frosting to a lemon meringue pie piled high with golden, caramelized sugar peaks. Meringues are easy to make and can make any dessert look a whole lot more appealing. These Rainbow Cloud Ice Cream Cones are a perfect example. Reminiscent of a baked alaska, the cones are made by scooping rainbow sherbert into a crisp waffle cone.
The picture for Rainbow Cloud Cones caught my eye in a local magazine, Ventura Blvd, when a friend took a photo of the cone and texted it to me. The photo was so tempting – and I knew that I had to recreate it in my own kitchen. My friend only sent me the picture, so I used a meringue recipe that I’ve used before and picked up rainbow sherbert and waffle cones from my local store. Rainbow sherbert is a flavor that I haven’t had much since I was a kid and let me tell you that it really tastes like childhood when you dig a spoon into the container for that first bite. It’s fruity, sweet and delicious. More importantly, it’s also very colorful and makes a great reveal underneath the toasted meringue.
The meringue is a cooked meringue made with a hot sugar syrup. The boiling sugar cooks the egg whites as it is streamed into them while you beat them to a fluffy meringue, creating a creamy meringue that is safe to eat. I piped it on using a star tipped pastry bag and toasted it with a kitchen torch. The kitchen torch is a must-have item for this project, since I can’t recommend holding an ice cream cone under the broiler to brown it!!
This recipe makes 4 cones, but you’ll need to assemble them one at a time – unless you have four hands to help hold them while you pipe the meringue. If you want to take a few minutes to plan ahead, you can place the scoops on a baking sheet and freeze them to firm them up while you prepare the meringue. You’ll waste a bit of meringue if you only make one or two, but it’s easy to make another batch if you want to make two more later, so don’t feel pressured to use it all at once. The meringue doesn’t keep well, so you need to use it shortly after you make it.
The finished dessert is absolutely delicious and so much fun to eat. The meringue has a hint of vanilla and caramelized sugar, with a fluffy -marshmallow-like texture. It is slightly warm and gives way to the cold, smooth ice cream that is bursting with color and fruity flavors. Add a waffle cone to the mix and you have a perfect summer dessert.
Rainbow Cloud Cones
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 pint rainbow sherbert (2 pints if you want doubles)
4 waffle cones
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. While the sugar boils, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy. Continue beating on medium-high speed while you slowly stream in the hot sugar mixture. Beat until stiff peaks form and meringue starts to cool down, about 5 minutes.
Transfer meringue to a pastry big fitted with a star tip.
Place 1-2 scoops of rainbow sherbert in a waffle cone. If desired, place 4 scoops on a baking sheet and freeze until firm (about 20 minutes) to make assembly easier.
Pipe meringue stars all over the scoop. Quickly caramelize the outside of the meringue with a kitchen torch.
Makes 4 cones.