If you live outside of Milwaukee, chances are you’ve never heard of the Schaum Torte, so let me make the introductions. Fit Bottomed Eats reader, meet the ridiculously easy-to-make, low-fat, gluten-free, economical Schaum Torte.
The Schaum (devotees have affectionately dropped the formal name) is a confection of German heritage made with only a few basic ingredients — egg whites, sugar, vinegar, cornstarch — that is topped with fresh strawberries and a dollop of sweetened cream. Crispy on the outside with a soft and chewy marshmallow-like center, it is the perfect light dessert.
Similar in nature to the Australian Pavlova, the Schaum can be dolled up a multitude of ways, but loyal Milwaukeeans prefer the original toppings.
Making Schaum Torte: Egg White Tips
The base of the Schaum is meringue, which can be a bit tricky. Here are a few pointers.
- Cold eggs are easier to separate than room-temperature eggs.
- Separate, but leave the whites out for a half hour before beating.
- Even a little yolk can spoil a meringue. Crack eggs in a separate bowl in case you break a yolk.
- Make sure your mixing bowl and beater is grease-free.
- Once you start to add the sugar, do so slowly. This ensures that the sugar is dissolved.
- It takes at least 6 minutes at high speed to create stiff, glossy peaks. And that is using a good stand mixer. If you are attempting this by hand … good luck and get on with your bad self!
- 8 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup cold cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- fresh strawberries
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Place egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Mix together cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.
- Beat until frothy.
- Add vinegar, vanilla and salt and beat on medium high speed until soft peaks begin to form.
- Turn mixer to high and continue to beat while slowly adding sugar a spoonful at a time.
- Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Spread meringue into a parchment-lined 9 or 10 inch springform pan.
- Bake for 1 hour until delicately browned and dry on top.
- Remove to wire rack to cool.
- Pour cold cream into a cold metal bowl.
- Add sugar and vanilla.
- Whisk until soft peaks form.
Or make individual tortes by spooning or piping meringue into 3 or 4-inch diameter. Bake for only 50 minutes. Individual schaum will be more crisp, and will keep in a sealed container on the counter for a week.
Now what to do with those extra yolks? Make your own mayo or noodles; ooh, a batch of lemon curd sounds yummy, pasta carbonara and more! —Karen