Tiny meringues

Tiny meringues

By
From
Bake and Decorate
Makes
50
Photographer
Laura Edwards

These dinky little meringues remind me of those my mother made. At any family celebration they were piled high, clouds of crispy white billows, oozing with cream, dusted with cocoa and finished with a crystallised violet. To me they were the most sublime dessert in the world.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 egg whites, at room temperature
pinch salt
85g white caster sugar
85g icing sugar
large nylon piping bag, (optional)
medium star nozzle, (optional)
150ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cocoa powder, to dust
25-30 crystallised violets

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140ºC and line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
  2. Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer, or use a handheld whisk and a large ceramic bowl. Whisk on a low speed, then increase the speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking between each addition. It should become stiff and glossy after 4–5 minutes. Do not over-mix. Sift over half the icing sugar and very gently fold in with a large metal spoon, then fold in the remainder. Again, be careful not to over-mix.
  3. Now either use the piping bag and nozzle to pipe 4 cm diameter meringues on to the baking sheets, or make quenelles (little ovals) by shaping the mixture between 2 teaspoons. Bake for 25–35 minutes. They are cooked when the underside sounds hollow when tapped. Carefully remove from the paper and cool on a wire rack.
  4. Whip the cream lightly with the vanilla and spread it over the bases of half the meringues, then sandwich with the others. Arrange on a serving plate, dust with cocoa and top each with a crystallised violet.

Perfect meringues

  • Egg whites hate grease, so be punctilious about cleaning the bowl. Use metal, glass or ceramic, as plastic bowls are harder to degrease. Wipe the bowl with a cut lemon, then dry thoroughly before using. Egg whites don't like water, not even a drop.

    Use good-quality eggs at room temperature; slightly older eggs give most volume. Beat with an electric whisk; it's hard work otherwise! Line baking sheets with baking parchment, not greaseproof as the meringues will stick. Dab a little meringue on the underside of the parchment to glue it to the baking sheet.
Tags:
Baking
Cakes
decorating
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