Made from whipped egg whites and powdered sugar, meringues are light, airy, and very sweet. Follow this easy recipe to make perfect meringues – or use it as a basis for other desserts such as pavlovas or lemon meringue pudding, or simply as a treat on its own. So easy to make, and an inexpensive recipe to demonstrate. Meringues are always a draw card and may be served in many different ways. Place meringues in an attractive glass jar and catch the compliments.
Makes approximately 50 small meringues
-3 large egg whites
-210 g castor sugar (250 ml) (1 cup)
-5 ml vanilla essence (1 teaspoon) or 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
-5 ml white vinegar
-30 ml boiling water (2 tablespoons)
-10 ml baking powder (2 teaspoons)
1. Preheat oven to 100ºC (Gas mark ¼).
2. Line baking trays with baking paper; do not grease (do not use greaseproof paper).
3. Using a clean, dry bowl of the electric food mixer, whisk egg whites until a soft peak is formed.
4. Add sugar spoon by spoon, slowly whisking hard all the time.
5. With the last spoon of sugar, mix in vanilla essence, or vanilla bean paste, and whisk well.
6. Add boiling water and whisk again for about 5 minutes.
7. Lastly, add baking powder and whisk for a minute.
8. Place mixture into a piping bag which has been fitted with a nozzle.
9. Pipe onto prepared baking trays.
10. Bake for 60 minutes. Switch off the oven and leave in the oven, if possible, for a further 30 minutes.
• Make them smaller so they will cook slightly more quickly and will last a whole Saturday morning’s demonstration.
• Use a disposable piping bag for easy clean-up later.
• Toast hazelnuts in an oven of 180ºC/160ºC fan/ Gas mark 4 for 15 – 20 minutes, until skin starts to blister; tip into a clean tea towel, and fold up.
• Rub the hazelnuts in the tea towel until the skins peel away.
• Then chop or process in a mini-chopper or NutriBullet until desired consistency is reached.