Meringues are one of those things that scared me for years. Every time they came up in conversation, there seemed to be a horror story attached. So I stayed clear…until last year, when I finally bit the bullet and had a go. Turns out, I had not reason to be afraid – they were pretty easy.
All you need are two things – egg whites and sugar. I add a bit of vanilla essence but you don’t have too.
You increase the number of egg whites and the sugar you need depending on how many you want to make.
My recipe will make 8 – 10 meringues about 7cm in diameter or one large pavlova style meringue.
- First, separate three eggs so you have the egg whites left.
- Whisk the eggs with an electric whisk (or a hand whisk if you are feeling brave and have all day) until they form soft peaks
- Add a tsp of vanilla extract
- Add 175g of caster sugar a spoonful at a time, continuing to whisk, until the mixture is smooth and glossy
- Trace circles for the desired size on sheets of baking paper and pipe your mixture onto the circles (or free form if you haven’t got a piping bag – I often do this, especially if I’ll be using the meringues for something like Eton Mess)
- Bake at 130°C (110°C Fan)/250°F/Gas 1 for an hour. This will give you a slightly chewy meringue. If you would prefer it less chewy you can increase the temperature slightly to 150°C or leave in the oven a little longer.
- Turn off the oven but leave the meringues in their for another hour to cool gradually.
- When they are done, take out, make a dent in the middle, fill with cream, top with fruit and eat before you start worrying about the calories.