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Party meringues

These mini meringues are the perfect thing for a party. They are quick and easy to make, look fantastic and who doesn’t like meringues?!

Why people call them meringue kisses I have no idea- they’re definitely party meringues- don’t you think they look like they’re dancing?! Ok, maybe that’s just me.

I left these ones plain but you could always dip them in chocolate, sandwich two around a creamy centre or add in some freeze dried fruit to the mix before piping out. The possibilities really are endless!

The stripes may look impressive but they’re a doddle to do- before putting the meringue into the piping bag use the end of a knife to spread stripes of gel food colouring up the inside- the denser your stripes the bolder the colours will turn out. I haven’t tried these using liquid food colouring and I wouldn’t advise it- imagine the colouring puddle at the bottom of the bag! The colouring needs to stick to the bag and be pulled down by the meringue- luckily gel colourings are pretty common now and easy to find in most supermarkets.

To make sure the white parts stay white the oven shouldn’t be too hot- slow and steady is key here. So if you know your oven tends to frazzle things turn it down for these.

Typically meringues this way don’t have a cheewy centre- shock horror I know! I am a firm (wrong word..) believer in the cheewy middle! But fear not! The best way to achieve cheewy heaven is to start with the oven hot and turn it down after as I describe below. If this doesn’t work I found that leaving these out overnight in my warm and probably humid kitchen did the trick.

So how about giving party meringues a go?

Recipe

Makes about 40 meringues (with bottoms the size of a £2 coin)

150g caster sugar
2 egg whites (75g)
Gel food colourings

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Spread the sugar out over a tray lined with baking paper and warm in the oven for 5 mins until the edges are just starting to melt. Take the sugar out of the oven and trim the heat up to 180 As this happens whisk the egg whites to soft peaks (at this stage if you lift the whisk out of the whites a little peak should form which falls over back into the mix)
  • Add the warmed sugar to the egg whites a tablespoon full at a time, whisking between each additon, making sure all the sugar is mixed in before adding anymore. Once all the sugar is added keep whisking until the meringue mix is thick, glossy and has reached stiff peaks (this time when you take the whisk out a peak should form that doesn’t fall over)
  • Prepare your piping bag with a 1cm round or star nozzle. (If you don’t have a nozzle you can just cut the end off). If you want striped meringues spread the gel food colouring down the side of your piping bag using a round ended knife- 5 stripes or so is plenty.
  • Spoon the meringue into the piping bag.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper and, holding the opening an inch above the paper, squeeze meringues out. To get a good peak stop squeezing the bag and pull quickly upwards- it will fall to one side on its own.
  • Pop the meringues into the oven and turn the temperature down to 110
  • Bake for 30 mins, turning halfway if your oven has a particularly hot spot. They should lift easily off the paper when they are done, if they don’t after 30mins give them another 5 and check again.

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