White beauties: Meringues

Meringues are such pretty things. Smooth, white, glossy, almost cloud-like and ethereal  and they can come in all shapes and sizes – Petite kisses-shaped ones look gorgeous beside a shot of espresso; even the cute blob is a beautiful mess in its own right, with its natural curves and swirls.

I like having meringues on its own on a hot, summery afternoon.

I like them better with a cup of strong black tea or coffee.

I like them most when they are crushed beneath layers of sliced strawberries and whipped cream – for the Eton Mess reminds me of summer vacations and girls in bright and flowery chiffon dresses.

You can whip up some meringues with just two ingredients- egg whites and sugar. Perfect way of using up leftover egg whites after making a batch of crème patisserie, ice-cream, or kueh lapis.

I have tried making meringues using the French and the Swiss method. For once, I’m not going with the French on this one. Yay for the Swiss method! By heating the sugar with the whites, the meringues have a firmer and more stable structure which works better in humid Singapore

I’ve kept my unfinished meringues in a air-tight glass jar. They do make my kitchen shelf look a lot prettier. I doubt it will for long though.

Aside from dreaming about those cloud-like meringues, it’s time to ponder what I should do with my leftover egg yolks...

Meringues
Makes 20 small meringues (6 cm in diameter)

120g egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)
240g caster sugar (superfine sugar, do not use coarse sugar for meringues)
unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Method:
(Swiss Meringue method)

1. Preheat the oven to 130 degrees celcius. (I use a fan-forced oven for this to ensure there is even heating but you can use a convection oven.)

2. Whisk together egg whites and sugar in a very clean stainless steel bowl. I use hot water to rinse it through to remove any grease and wiping it dry. Place bowl over a bain marie and whisk together whites and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved. You will get a smooth, warm and slightly cloudy liquid. Remove from heat.

2. Transfer the warm mixture into a clean bowl of a electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat for about 10 minutes on high speed until you achieve glossy white mixture with firm peaks. Firm peaks are reached when you you see straight peaks when you lift up the whisk attachment and it does not droop back into the bowl.

3. Spoon the ready meringue mixture onto a baking sheet (you can pipe them out if you like). Sift unsweetened cocoa powder over the meringues just before baking.

4. Lower the oven temperature to 100 degrees celcius and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes until crisp and dry. If you like your meringues crisp on the outside and still chewy on the inside, cut the baking time and bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Variations:

1. Add a few drops of rose water and pink food colouring just before baking for a rose flavoured meringue.

2. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios/hazelnuts over the meringues.

Meringue tips:

*The easiest way to separate the egg whites from the yolks when it is just out of the refrigerator. Be very careful not to allow any yolk or shell to enter the whites as this will prevent the meringues from being whipped to its full volume.

*To make meringues, we need to use a low temperature to dry them out completely . They should remain white after baking. If they start to brown, it means that your oven is too hot and the sugar in the meringue has started to caramelise!

*Meringues hate moisture and humidity. Try to work quickly and bake the meringues as soon as they are whipped and not leave them out in the kitchen. (especially in humid Singapore) Store the baked meringues in a air-tight container in a cool and dry place once it has cooled completely.


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About jothetartqueen

My first love is eating. A very close second is my love for baking and cooking. I passionately believe that the best form of appreciation of something is almost always through the creation of it. This passion took me on a whirlwind, unforgettable ride through the patisserie diploma course at Le Cordon Bleu (Sydney). Join me on my discovery for the love of food – through the kitchen, through the markets, through experimenting, tasting and loving.
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15 Responses to White beauties: Meringues

  1. Pingback: Seeking perfection: Fleur de sel caramel macarons | jothetartqueen

  2. Pingback: 7 x 7 blog award | jothetartqueen

  3. I am a meringues addict. More than 20 times tried making at home but always turned out soggy, burnt just, yuck! I will try this recipe then

  4. Hmm I think you need to check the temperature of your oven. That could be the problem. do you have an oven thermometer? I find that it helps because the actual oven temp may not be the temp you set. And for meringues, it really needs to bake at a low temp for a long period of time.

    if you have any other questions, do let me know. I’ll try to help. =D

  5. Yoon says:

    Hi there, can I just ask, when you whisk egg whites and sugar over the bain marie, do we just use a hand whisk? Thank you 🙂

    • Hi there,

      Yes I just use a hand whisk when whisking the whites and sugar over a Bain Marie. It doesn’t take too long. And basically, you just need to get all the sugar crystals to dissolve before using a mixer to whisk up the meringues.

  6. Katy says:

    With a convection oven is the temp. and time the same??

    • Yes you can most certainly use a convection oven with the same temperature. Sometimes I bake two trays of meringues at a go so it is better for me to use a fan forced oven.

      Use the timing as a guide. It should take about the same time. Just cut up one meringue to check the inside if you need to.

  7. Katy says:

    Ok had a left over of egg whites from ice cream, maid the meringues about 40 mins. more for bigger ones cup cake top size, left over night in oven to dry some more. Humidity level here 90 %.
    Results…AWSOME… THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS ….

  8. daamnjong says:

    Hi! Since I don’t have a electric mixer, I am going to whisk the mixture by hand. It would take a much longer time for it to reach stiff peaks so when do I preheat the oven?

    • It will take you a really long time and arm muscles to do that! You can always preheat the oven beforehand. I probably would start preheating the oven when I start whisking the whites and sugar together after I heat them.

      .

  9. jass says:

    May i check does your meringues get sticky soon once it cooled down… everytime i tried take photo of it.. my meringue get sticky hahaha

  10. XY says:

    I know this might be a really old post, but I faced some problems and would like to look for your kind advice 🙂 my meringue looks gorgeous in the oven. It went well except that they became wrinkly the moment they came out and after awhile slightly sticky and easy to squash. Any idea where went wrong? Thanks in advance

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