I have something to confess, only recently did I finally master meringues. Yes I’d made them before, but never had I made them exactly how I wanted. Sometimes the egg whites wouldn’t whip to soft peaks even though I followed every rule in the book. This frustrated me even more when Hubs made a cracking batch of macarons on his second attempt.
I can be a bit frugal with food and most of my attempts to make meringues have used just one egg white. Now I know this is a bad idea. When using an electric mixer, like my KitchenAid, due to the small amount of egg white it’ll go from unbeaten to soft peaks to over beaten in a matter of seconds. So learn from my mistakes always start with a minimum of two egg whites.
There are two school of thoughts when it comes to meringues. Dry meringues or chewy meringues. I think they both have their place but when the meringues are to be eaten on their own a chewy meringue will always win. The key to chewy meringues is the addition of cornflour. Only a small amount is needed, but this is enough to give the kisses a chewy centre.
To make stripy meringues is easy. By using a cocktail stick draw lines on the inside of a piping bag with food dye gel. This is easier if you put the piping bag in a pint glass to keep the bag open. You can see two different batches on this post. One red and white and the second batch with a rather festive red, white and green.
I’ve recently discovered the foil backed parchment which is fabulous stuff… until you try and bake meringues with it. The paper acts like a bimetallic strip and curls in the heat. Even trying to stick the paper down with meringue mixture didn’t help due to the strength of the foil so a few meringues had to be sacrificed for my art.
To double-check, no triple-check these meringues were to my liking I ate some sandwiched with whipped cream. Delicious.
Mini Stripy Meringue Kisses
Makes around 50
2 egg whites
100g caster sugar
heaped tsp cornflour
food gel colouring
1) Whip your egg whites with an electric whisk until it reaches soft peak stage.
2) Gradually add half of your sugar and continue to whip. The mixture turns in to a thick glossy texture, almost like shaving foam.
3) Sprinkle the remaining sugar and cornflour over the whipped eggs. Fold in using a metal spoon.
4) Put a 1M piping tip in a disposable piping bag then fill with the meringue mixture.
5) Pipe the meringues on baking parchment. They will not change shape while being cooked so they can be piped quite close together.
6) Bake at 100°c for 90-120 minutes until the meringues are beginning to become unstuck from the parchment. Open the door slightly and leave to cool in the oven switched off. Once they have cooled get them in a tin. This little sugary bites love moisture and suck it up like a sponge.