Light and airy meringues

25 September 2011 § 5 Comments

I have mentioned before that my father is a born again baker. He made a guest appearance on this blog with his sour dough recipe.

Baz recently discovered baking and has been perfecting his techniques religiously ever since. Every time my parents visit his repertoire has expanded and improved (I will not make an obvious joke here about his waistline – would be cruel and not true.) What started with bread now includes croissants, buns and meringues.

I have never had much luck with meringues, they are either too marshmallowey or rock hard. Whereas Baz’s meringues are crisp on the outside but soft and billowy on the inside. But it gets better you see, as he just has to use up the leftover egg yolks. So he makes ice cream too. It is a sweet deal and makes The Ladies™ very happy.

Next time I will follow Baz the Baker’s tips to make the perfect meringue:

  • Eggs should be at room temperature – take them out of the fridge at least thirty minutes before you need them.
  • The whisk and bowl should be clean and dry.
  • Rub a little lemon juice around the bowl to remove any invisible residual grease.
  • Heat the sugar first in the oven at 2oo° for about 5 minutes, this gives them a bit more depth of flavor.
  • The meringue is done when stiff peaks form. To test hold a little between your thumb and index finger if it feels gritty the sugar has not dissolved enough so keep beating until it feels smooth.

Now let’s get on with the meringue recipe:

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 240g (1¼ cup) of superfine (caster) sugar
  • 1 small piece of lemon

First of all squeeze the lemon around your mixing bowl.

Put the sugar on a baking tray and cook for about 5 minutes at 20o°. The warm gives the meringues a richer, caramelized flavor.

Whisk the eggs at high-speed, then when they start to go frothy gradually add the sugar. Continue whisking until you have glossy stiff peaks. Place mixture in a piping bag and pipe onto a baking tray covered in parchment paper. Or if you are in a rush, just dollop on with a spoon.

Cook for three hours at 200°.

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