(click on the text to highlight each stage):
- Preheat the oven to 120ºC (fan 100ºC)/250ºF/gas mark ½ . Line two
baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
- In a large bowl, with an electric hand whisk, whisk the egg whites to
soft peaks.Whisk half the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, into the mixture until
stiff. Carefully fold in the rest of the sugar, using a large metal spoon.
- Dab a smear of the meringue mixture under each corner of the
baking paper to stick it to the baking sheets. Carefully drop
spoonfuls of the mixture, spaced well apart, on to the paper. Use a
tsp to make smaller meringues and a dsp for larger meringues.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 1½-2 hours until the meringues are
dry and lift easily from the paper. Leave to cool at room temperature.
- These meringues are delicious sandwiched together with whipped
cream. They can also be crumbled up and mixed with whipped
cream and fresh strawberries to make Eton Mess.
- Coffee-hazelnut caramel meringues: roast 100g (3½oz) blanched
hazelnuts in a medium oven for 10 minutes. In a thick bottomed
saucepan make a caramel with 100g (3½oz) granulated
sugar and 2 tbsp water: heat gently without stirring until the sugar
has dissolved then increase the heat until it is a nice caramel colour.
Stir in the nuts, along with a shot of espresso coffee, then pour over an oiled baking tray and leave to cool. Use a rolling pin to break up the
hazelnut praline and fold into the meringue mixture just before baking.
- Raspberry swirl meringues: I often get asked, how do I get the swirl
so pink? Mix in a small cup 2 tsp of framboise (raspberry liqueur), 2–3
drops natural raspberry extract or flavouring and a small knife point of
red food colouring paste. Mix well then, using a wooden spoon, swirl
through the finished meringue mixture just before baking. I like
topping my raspberry meringue with freeze-dried raspberries too…
- Chocolate swirl meringues: melt 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate
and swirl with a wooden spoon through the finished
meringue mixture just before baking for a marbled effect.