Tuesday 5 April 2016

Meringue Kisses

Hey everyone :)

I hope you had a good weekend? I was on holiday last week as my parents were visiting - they had a good holiday (apart from the ending which saw a Royal Mail lorry (yes the big artic one) smash into the side my car) we are all okay thankfully - the car not so much!

Instead of cupcakes or brownies or flapjacks I decided to try meringue this week! I had been watching a few videos on YouTube and came across a duo called 'The Meringue Girls' who make these cute little 'Meringue Kisses' and so I thought I'd try make them. I think I did over beat my mixture because it went a bit runny so my kisses are more like floppy wet kisses than proper ones - but who cares - it's how they taste that matters.

There are a few tips when it comes to making meringue so I thought I'd reel those of first.

Tip 1: Make sure there is no grease present as this stops your meringue from getting volume - wipe your bowl with 1/2 a lemon or some cider vinegar and then dry with kitchen towel. I do my mixing bowl and the whisk utensil.

Tip 2: If you are using eggs then ensure you get absolutely no yolk in the white when separating - if you do then through it out and start again. If you are using liquid egg whites - then no issues here!

Tip 3: Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and put your caster sugar on a baking tray lined with baking paper and pop in the oven for about 7 minutes until hot to the touch - warm sugar makes the meringues glossier and better.

Tip 4: Introduce as less liquid flavouring as possible - I bought some 'intense flavours' from someone on Amazon and you only need a little bit and its very strong. The more liquid you add the more it deflates the volume you've created.

Tip 5: When whisking the egg whites start of slow and build up the speed - this builds stabilizing bubbles and will help keep the volume.

Tip 6: When colouring - it is easier to paint your piping bag with colour than to add the colour to the meringue as I mentioned liquids will deflate your meringue. Just turn the piping bag inside out/ or lay it flat and using a paint brush - paint colour on the inside and then add your meringue and pipe away.

For the meringue - it's a very simple recipe - it's a 2:1 ratio of sugar to egg whites. So if you have 500g caster sugar, then you will use 250g egg whites. If you use 200g caster sugar then you will use 100g of egg white and so on - it realyl depends on how much you want to make. 500g/250g is the biggest my mixing bowl can take so remember about that when mixing - you don't want the bowl overflowing.

500g caster sugar (warm to the touch)
250g egg whites (liquid egg whites)

1. Preheat oven to 200°C and put the sugar in to warm (this takes about 7 minutes).
2. Clean your equipment with lemon or cider vinegar.
3. Add the egg whites into the bowl and turn the mixer on slow. After a couple of minutes you will see some bubbles. You can then increase speed more after this.
4. About 30 seconds before the sugar is ready turn the mixer up to full speed and you should end up with stiff peeks.
5. With the mixer on medium - begin adding the sugar tablespoon by tablespoon.
6. Once all added you should keep mixing for about 5 minutes until all grains of sugar are dissolved into the mixture.
7. Paint your piping bag with colour
8. Fold in any flavouring to the meringue.
9. Add the meringue to the piping bag and start piping onto baking sheets lined with baking paper.
10. Bake for about 40-45 minutes - they will be ready when the 'kiss' comes from the baking paper easily and without fuss.

They will be nice and crisp on the outside and mallow'ey and chewy on the inside.

These will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. Try and not leave them out as they absorb moisture.

Have you made meringues before? How did you get on? Did you keep all your volume? Let me know in the comments below. You can find the original recipe HERE if you want more details etc.

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