Meringues //

This week I made Neil & myself creme brulee, which are yummy little vanilla-custard desserts with burnt sugar on top (I always use this recipe here when I make them). The recipe required 6 egg yolks, but not the whites… so this seemed a great opportunity to try making meringues! Unfortunately as I wasn’t planning to make them, I didn’t have any flavours or anything exciting to put in them, so these are just decorated with pink colour gel.

I used the Meringue Girls recipe for this, and spent a good while drooling all over the gorgeous recipes in their book – definitely need to try some of those out soon! It’s very easy to make, only 2 ingredients. It can be done by hand but it’s much easier if you have a food mixer with a balloon whisk.

150g free range egg whites (about 5 eggs)
300g caster sugar
1. Preheat your oven to 200c/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Pour caster sugar onto the baking tray and pop in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the edges have just started to melt.
3. Meanwhile, weigh your egg whites in (ideally) a glass bowl, free from any grease, as grease stops the whites obtaining the air needed to make lovely meringues. Whisk slowly to start with to create stabilising bubbles, then slowly increase speed until the whites form stiff peaks (which is when you can hold them over your head without them dropping 😉
4. Remove sugar from the oven, and turn your oven down to 100c. Whilst whisking, add the hot sugar one tablespoonful at a time, ensuring it remains stiff and has been well combined. Once all sugar is in, keep whisking for another few minutes, until the mixture no longer feels gritty, and has a lovely smooth shine to it.
5. With a pastry brush paint stripes of food colouring onto the inside of your piping bag. Carefully spoon your mixture into the bag, trying not to allow any air bubbles. Once you’re ready, cut off the bottom 2cm of the bag and pipe small whirls, about the size of a 50p, onto the baking sheet.
6. Put into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. They are done when they come off the baking sheet with ease (don’t force them or they’ll break!) Take out and leave to cool on a wire rack. Munch several with a lovely cuppa. Mmhmm!
This week I’ve been practicing making stacked Victoria Sponges for my sisters wedding cake (!) the first attempt went very well, she’s given me some feedback on how she wants it (even bigger! eek!) so I’ll be trying that again this we

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