The first time that I saw meringues were in the Ottolenghi in Nottinghill, I was completely mesmerised by the white pillowy clouds of sugary delights.
Made of just egg whites and sugar, the eggs undergo an amazing transformatio. But don’t be fooled by the simplicity of ingregients as it is deceptively tricky to make these cookies. So many things can go wrong and small variation in temperature, cooking time, hint of oil can turn into a disaster.
Over the years, I have tried making meringues but never with great success. It has always been a bit of hit & miss. The lockdown provided an opportunity to finally get my meringue game on.
So I proceeded to bake over thousand of these little kisses and cookies and I am pleased to announce that my recipe for meringue results in almost perfect kisses & cookies!
PS: Don’t you think that pictures have come out amazing…?
- 120 gram egg whites about four small eggs
- 240 gram white caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 3/4 tsp cornflour
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Make sure to measure the ingredients as you need the exact amount for this recipe.
- It's extremely important that all the utensils that use are completely dry and don't even have a hint of grease. A small amount of water and grease will destroy the meringues. I rub all the bowls, mixer blades, cutlery and piping bags with lime or lemon to remove grease from the pan and then use a dry dish cloth to remove any lemon residue.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degree centrigrade
- Spread the sugar in a baking pan and place it in the oven for seven minutes
- Remove sugar from the oven and mix in the corn flour and baking powder
- In parallel, start beating the egg whites using the whisk attachment on an electric mixer. Make sure that there is not even a hin of egg yolk as it will destroy the meringue. Whisk on low speed for 1-2 minutes until the eggs are foamy.
- Add cream of tartar
- Start beating at medium high speed for 2-3 minutes until the stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks are formed when the eggs turn completely white in colour and start to hold shape
- Then start adding sugar one tablespoon at a time to the egg whites. Make sure to bring the mixture back to stiff peaks after each spoonful of sugar
- This should take about 6-7 minutes in total (when using a hand-held electric whisk)
- Mix in the vanilla essence (optional)
- Add the mixture to a piping bag with about 1.5cm wide nozzle. If you don't have a nozzle, you can cut a 1.5 cm wide hole in the piping bag.
- Line 2-3 large baking trays with a parchment paper (very important). You can stick the the parchment paper to the baking pan by using a bit of meringue mix. This is will help when piping the kisses.
- Add the meringue mixture to a piping bag. If you are making kisses, then you can just cut the piping tip to about 1.5centimeters in diameter. To make the cookies, use a 2M piping tip.
- Pipe the kisses by holding the piping tip about a 1-2 centimeter above the paper. Squeeze the piping mixture until it reaches 4-5 centimeters in height then release the pressure on the piping bag and pull away to form a tip. You can pipe the kisses fairly close to each other but make sure that they are not touching eachother.
- You can change the width and height of the kisses by changing the size of the nozzle and the amount of mixture you pipe with each kiss.
- Turn the oven temperature down to 100 dgrees centrigrade
- Bake the meringue kisses for little over one hour. At no point, the oven door should be opened as it will produce cracks in the kisses.
- After turning off the oven, I leave the kisses overnigth in the oven and open the oven door only in the morning.