I remember making meringues when I was younger, probably about 12 or 13. Nobody else was in, the recipe seemed straight forward enough and, after having been recently introduced to them by my Grandma, I thought it would be a nice surprise.
The resulting flat, burnt and crisp like discs that I produced where somehow not what I was expecting and put off making them again for quite some time.
As an adult I can see where I went wrong – not whipping the whites enough, not ensuring the bowl was completely dry and not following the instructions regarding ‘low and slow’ and have since managed to produce some much tastier and all round satisfying specimens!
- 2 Egg Whites (This will make 4 good size meringues such as those pictured)
- 100g Caster Sugar, Sieved (Some recipes mix granulated and caster, but I prefer smooth meringues)
- A Tiny Pinch of Salt (To stabilise the mix)
- 2 Drops Natural Vanilla Extract (Always go for natural extract, it doesn’t need to be posh, but has a much better flavour)
- Food Colouring Gel (Gel is easier to work with than liquid colourings and doesn’t change the consistency much)
To make more, simply work to 100g caster sugar per 2 egg whites
- I use a countertop mixer as it’s easier, but a handheld electric whisk will work just as well – I would advise against trying by hand unless you have missed a gym session
- Start by whisking the egg whites to stiff peaks with the pinch of salt at a medium to high speed
- Whilst still whisking, add the sugar very slowly. If needs be, add a tablespoon at a time. Then add the two drops of vanilla extract
- Once all of the sugar is added, whisk for another 5 minutes or so – you want the sugar to be fully combined. It will look glossy and sleek once ready
- Spoon or pipe into four mounds onto baking trays lined with baking paper – you can make them smaller or larger, but you’ll have to amend the baking time to reflect that
- If using colouring, put three to four drops of the gel on each meringue and swirl round with a cocktail stick (or if you want an even colour, add whilst in the mixer)
- In a pre-heated oven (140c) slide the trays in and leave the door slightly ajar. Bake for about an hour, switch the oven off, close the door and leave in situ for another hour and then let cool