Meringues

 photo 2016-03-16-875_e_zpszkqpodln.jpgBreak a yolk and you’re done. Don’t do that. Great teacher, huh?

I don’t have a recipe for meringues? Well now I do. Man, I’m beat.  I got up today and set up someone’s iPad, I’ve never touched one before. Then got some prep done for cottage pies and baked a loaf of bread. Then whipped up some curry. Then I helped set up a greenhouse frame, mostly by holding it. Then I finally made the pies, sliced the bread and started to make these. Now in my ever sanguine way I’ll try to help you through the process. May God have mercy on your soul beautific reader. Kidding, I’m not that bad a teacher…ummm.

 photo 2016-03-16-877_e_zpsknezscta.jpgThe Stiff Peak Stage: Aka the Inappropriate Picture Stage.

“Don’t call it the Titty stage!”, okay, wait no! I’m sorry forgiving reader, that was wrong and immature and just a teensy bit funny. First up is the stiff peak stage, basically hold it above your head and if you come out unscathed you’re all set. You won’t turn the bowl over until you see no movement, trust me on that. Hold the mixer steady and slowly spin the bowl, try to get as much air incorporated as possible. Or use a stand-mixer, reader-with-a-larger-kitchen-than-I. Don’t be scared of this recipe, it’s a bit fiddly, but when the ratios are pre-made all you need is some patience and attention to detail. Hey, if I can do it blah blah you know? Go for it kid!

 photo 2016-03-16-876_e_zpsvy4xgk4c.jpgI regret that bag, really I do.

The caster sugar will leave it thick and wobbly. I filled my bag too much and put it everywhere, just half fill it, trust me on that. Or just scoop it out with a spoon, it doesn’t need to be fancy, mine certainly weren’t. The caster sugar will weep if incorrectly mixed so take your time at that stage. This is a tad muddled, but we’ll muddle on. Oh, here’s the recipe I used.

 photo 2016-03-16-878_e_zpszhormhec.jpgFrom the bottom to the top keeps the air in.

I dread this stage as I worry about knocking the air out. Just scoop it and fold it over, the bottom becomes the top and so on. I filled the bag with this and it went everywhere, that’s why mine are somewhat thinner than I would’ve made them. You can shape them however you like, just don’t make them too high. The idea is to have a slightly gooey centre, I had, and a crunchy, chewy outside, I had that too. The shape isn’t too vital and you can even make a nest if you’d like. You can see how glossy it is at this point and it’ll turn a bit softer and it will slowly fall from a spoon. See, it’s pretty easy. Oh, er, when you separate the eggs (Late, I know! Better than never) just crack it into your hand and let the whites run through your fingers. It’s really handy and saves messing with gadgets or bottles.

 photo 2016-03-16-879_e_zpsskbweqjj.jpgA bit messy, but pretty even on the whole.

Yup, they bake slow, really slow. Don’t open it more than once, to turn if needed, you’ll let out the heat and that’s not good for the meringues. You might want to do something else while these bake. Not much to say here, they turn a nice eggshell/coffee colour, maybe a little lighter, but just tap the bottom for a hollow sound and feel the outside. They didn’t stick for me thankfully. I have a bonus curd for you too, the recipe is there already. This is just an all yolk tweak.

 photo 2016-03-16-881_e_zpsuawnilg1.jpgThe bottom is holey because of my terrible piping skills.

They came out just right. Really lovely. They’re actually for my Mother’s birthday tomorrow. She’s already eaten three with curd and strawberries so they must be good. The curd is all on the recipe page. It’s pretty runny when it’s cooked, it’ll coat the back of a spoon, but when cooled it’s thick and delicious. You could make an Eton Mess with this or just toss it in a bowl and scoop and crunch away to your hearts content. Curd is simple, just keep it stirred and at a medium heat or you’ll get lumps of scrambled egg, the sieve will take care of them, but you’re better to avoid them in the first place. I use a double boiler as it makes it less risky. You can probably just do it right in the pot if you’d rather.

 photo 2016-03-16-882_e_zpsksj6skyb.jpgThe scum, er, froth stage. This is when it’s nearly ready, about 5 minutes before the end.

I wish I could explain this in greater detail. I can make it, rather well if I may say so myself, but like caramel I just know when it’s ready. I can smell sugar when it’s a few seconds before it’s fully caramelised. That doesn’t help you, aspiring chef, but practice will serve you better than anything else. I’ve never had a failed curd so you can be sure it’s really easy. Take the time to do it right and it’ll pay off. That’s it for today, hopefully this helped somewhat. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 photo 2016-03-16-883_e_zps4fp8voso.jpgDon’t just chug it all!

Ingredients

4 Large Egg Whites at room temperature
115g Caster Sugar
115g Icing Sugar

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 110C (No Fan). Line two baking tray with parchment paper.

2. In a glass bowl (Not Plastic), beat the Egg Whites with an electric mixer on medium speed. Beat until the whites form stiff peaks.

3. Turn the speed to high and add the Caster Sugar, one Dessert Spoon at a time. Keep beating for 3 seconds between additions. When ready the mixture should be thick and glossy.

4. Sift in 1/3 of the Icing Sugar and gently fold, from the bottom curving up towards the top, using a rubber spatula or a metal spoon. Repeat until all Icing Sugar has been incorporated. Mixture should be billowy.

5. Either pipe into mounds, or scoop using a spoon, onto the trays and bake for 1 Hour 15 Minutes or until they turn a light coffee colour and have a hollow sound when the botttom is tapped. Swap the trays halfway if needed for even baking. When baked removed from tray and let cool on a wire-rack.

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2 thoughts on “Meringues

  1. Pingback: Meringue Topping |

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