Sunday, 23 March 2014

Meringues


Essentially Meringues are egg whites, caster sugar and a pinch of salt. 

Most meringues include these three staples, however some include cornflour and vinegar, which I have incorporated here.

This recipe contains a LOT of sugar.  So if you're a SUGAR PHOBE you may want to leave the room now.  Also, if you have NO PATIENCE, you may also wish to excuse yourself.


These babies require a lot of baking and cooling downtime so if waiting is not your thing, you may have to reassess your love of the humble meringue.

A little tip ~  make sure your eggs are at room temperature.  I discovered this years ago when attempting my first lemon meringue pie and my egg whites wouldn't fluff up after vigorous beating for eons  weeks A BLOODY LONG TIME.

Clueless I whinged lamented about my egg white beating skills (clear lack of) to my friend Kym.  Quite the master baker herself and winner of several prestigious country show awards, (where the competition and judges are FIERCE) she replied..
"You are using eggs at room temperature aren't you?" "Pfft.. of COURSE I am..."

Some omit the vinegar but I have read, that a little helps to crisp up the outside of the meringue whilst keeping the inside a softer consistency.  Worth putting in.  My mum used to put vinegar in everything. Toffees, meringues, poached eggs..  I guess old habits die hard.

Ingredients
4 egg whites  
Pinch of salt                                                    
1 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons GF cornflour
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Pre-heat your oven to 100°C   

Method

Make sure your mixing bowl is clean.  Any trace of fat can bring your meringue merriment to a screeching halt.  Using an electric mixer, beat your egg whites and salt until soft peaks form, then gradually add sugar.  Beat until mixture becomes glossy and all of the sugar has dissolved.
If you rub a little between your thumb and forefinger and the mix is no longer gritty, you're good to go.  At this point, add cornflour, vinegar & any colour preference (mix until just combined).

Use a piping bag with a wide star tip to create your meringues.  Aim for about 4-5 cm diameter and allow space between each on a lined baking tray.  Abb & I sprinkled GF 100's and 1000's on ours but GF sprinkles or small cachous would also look fab.

Bake for 2 hours until meringues have a hardened shell and sound hollow when gently tapped on the bottom.

Now for the hard part.  The waiting..
Turn your oven off and allow meringues to cool for a couple of hours.  I stick a wooden spoon in the door so it remains ajar whilst meringues are cooling.  I also do this when making lemon meringue pie.

Well done! You made it.  ENJOY!