But, more than pavlova, I love mini meringues. Bite sized beautiful little kisses that crunch between your fingers, melt on your tounge and stick to your teeth. mmmmmmm.
I make meringues alot, just because they can keep in the freezer, so they are great for backup dessert.
For Christmas this year, instead of making a traditional pav, I made about 150 small meringues which I dipped in dark chocolate, and they were amazing.
So, here I give you the epic meringue recipe...and all the tips to make the perfect ones...
1/2c castor sugar
1 tspn vanilla essence
1 tspn cornflour
2 tspn vinegar
Preheat the oven to 150 celcius.
Prepare a large baking tray.
Place egg whites in a bowl and beat using electric mixer (i did it once with a hand mixer and it took about 1hour)
Beat and beat and beat...if you have a book to read, go for it. The more you beat the better. Beat until the eggwhites are stiff - so when you pull the beaters out the eggwhite should stand up, and if you turned the bowl upside down nothing would come out.
Now, add the sugar, but S L O W L Y. Add about 2 tbspns at a time, and beat for about 5 minutes between each addition.
This should make a stiff, glossy mix.
Add the vanilla, cornflour and vinegar, and beat for about another 5 minutes.
While it is beating prepare a piping bag (about 1cm nozzle).
Place all the mixture into the piping bag.
There are a couple of ways to pipe now:
1) spiral: pipe a spiral base about 3cm in diameter, and then spiral up the base to create a cone shape.
2) kiss: holding the bag quite close to the tray, squeeze out the mixture to make a round base about 3cm in diameter, and then still squeezing, bring the nozzle up so that you end up with a shape that looks like a hersheys kiss.
3) nest: pipe a spiral base, and then pipe three circles around the outside of the base, one ontop of the other, to make a nest (which you can fill).
Alternately, you can use a tablespoon to spoon big blobs on (more like a mini pavlova)
Make sure you leave room between each meringue otherwise they will stick together when they cook.
Place meringues in the oven, and cook for around 35 minutes, or until a light brown colour on the outside.
LEAVE TO COOL IN THE OVEN this is REALLY important. Don't take them out of the oven until it is cooled. Best to do this in the evening and take them out in the morning.
Freeze as many as you like (they don't really need defrosting).
Serve with fresh cream and berries, dipped in dark chocolate or use in Eaton mess (http://cafe-couture.blogspot.com/2011/01/eaton-mess.html)
|mmmm choc dipped strawberries and meringues!|
If you dont have a piping bag, use a ziplock bag, and cut off one of the corners to make a small hole from which mixture can be piped.
Leaving meringues to cook in the oven means they harden up and aren't too sticky!