Whenever I make ice cream, I always make meringues. All those leftover egg whites need using up, of course, and there’s nothing nicer than being able to offer your guests a plate of a cute little meringue kisses to have with a cup of tea or coffee!
I definitely advise you to ensure you have guests coming to eat these, because they are ridiculously easy to scarf by yourself. I am ashamed to say that I ate a large quantity of these shortly after they came out of the oven…
I always like to add a bit of food colouring to the piping bag just to give them an extra special touch. All you need to do to create these swirls is draw a thick line in food colouring (I use paste) down the side of the bag. I made two lines opposite each other in this example. I also added in some vanilla essence right before I piped them out, and I was surprised how flavourful they were!
Since I discovered it, I always go back to the Meringue Girls recipe for meringue – it involves heating the sugar in the oven before you whisk it into the egg whites. It makes everything so glossy and gorgeous! Also, they advise you of quantities of egg whites for sugar (double the sugar for the weight of egg white, so 30g egg white per 60g caster sugar), which means no matter your quantity of egg whites, you can have the perfect result! Here’s the link to the recipe. (I really want to get their recipe book!)
To summarize, you heat your sugar in an oven at 200c, on a lined, deep baking tray, for five minutes. While that’s happening, whisk your egg whites to a stiff peak. When the sugar is just starting to melt at the edges, remove it from the oven and turn down to 100c. Then, add your hot sugar spoon by spoon into the egg whites, whisking well with every addition. When everything’s been added, whisk until the mixture no longer feels ‘gritty’ between your fingers – so all of the sugar has been dissolved into the mix. Then, pipe your mixture and bake. The times really depend on the size of your meringues, the heat of the oven, and how crispy you’d like them to be… I think mine took an hour in the end, but you’ll need to experiment with times, or check out other recipes for a definitive answer to this elusive question!