Sunday, December 06, 2009


Due to having two egg whites in the fridge, I decided to try my hand at meringues since I've always heard that they're incredibly easy to make. Unfortunately I didn't have the special kinds of sugar on hand (caster and icing) so I tried it with plain old granulated sugar. This may explain why the instructions didn't make sense when I was beating everything together - I never saw "snow drifts" and I think my mixture was a bit less stiff than it should be. Oops. They still taste ok though.

Ultimate meringues (adapted from BBC Good Food)

2 medium egg whites
115g sugar


Preheat the oven to fan 100C/ conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick parchment paper (meringue can stick on greaseproof paper and foil).

Tip the egg whites into a large clean mixing bowl (not plastic). Beat them on medium speed with an electric hand whisk until the mixture resembles a fluffy cloud and stands up in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted.

Now turn the speed up and start to add the caster sugar, a little at a time. Continue beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition. It's important to add the sugar slowly at this stage as it helps prevent the meringue from weeping later. However, don't over-beat. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy.

Sift a third of the icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a big metal spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the icing sugar a third at a time. Again, don't over-mix. The mixture should now look smooth and billowy, almost like a snow drift.

Scoop up a heaped dessertspoonful of the mixture. Drop rough rounds onto parchment paper. Bake for 1 1⁄2-1 3⁄4 hours in a fan oven, 1 1⁄4 hours in a conventional or gas oven, until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath and are a pale coffee colour. Leave to cool on the trays or a cooling rack. (The meringues will now keep in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for a month.) Serve two meringues sandwiched together with a generous dollop of softly whipped double cream.

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