Meringues

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPiping is not just for icing. As well as biscuits this weekend, we also whipped up a batch of meringues. And when I say a batch, I mean enough to last me through the first week of Wimbledon.

Meringues are the perfect opportunity, a) to get the Kitchenaid out and b) to practice my new-found, quite shaky, ability to pipe things. They’re incredibly easy to make. Firstly, separate your eggs.   We own an excellent egg separator, Wales’ finest, though it’s just as easy to catch the yolk in your hand or use the split shell to tip the egg white off. Whisk the egg white to a stiff peak, so it doesn’t fall off the whisk (or out of the bowl if you tip it over your head). Then slowly add caster sugar, 2oz for each egg white, whisking the whole time to create a stiff, glossy, marshmallowey mixture,. We used 3 egg whites, so 6oz of sugar, but this made a LOT of meringues. Two egg whites would have been sufficient.

Now the fun starts. Fill a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle with the meringue mixture. This will be sticky. Twist the piping bag at the top of the mixture and then apply pressure at the top of the bag to force the meringue out of the nozzle.

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Draw a circle on some greaseproof paper lined baking tray, then spiral another one on top, release the pressure and pull the  bag away sharply. Ta-da.

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Repeat until you’ve used all the mixture, then place in an oven pre-heated to 150C. Turn the oven down to 140C and cook for an hour. After  an hour, turn the oven off and leave the meringues to dry out till the oven completely cools. Or until you want to eat them.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These are great mixed with strawberries and cream, obvs, but you could dip the bottom in melted chocolate or sandwich them together with chocolate or cream to make little sweets. Unadorned, they’ll keep for ages in an airtight container.

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