Lovely and light with a bit of chewiness. Or super soft Italian style. They’re not really as daunting as you might think. The trick really is to warm your sugar and to use cream of tartar. A clean bowl is super necessary. And whisk whisk whisk!
You will need:
Great for Eton Mess, filled with cream and fresh fruits. For little cake decorations or just as a little sweet treat. These guys keep really well in an air tight container.
Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line your baking tray with silicone or use an ovenproof dish.
Weigh out your sugar and place in the dish or tray. Place in the oven. At the same time set off your egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the balloon whisk attachment. Whisk on high until soft peaks start to form. At this point remove your sugar from the oven and spoon it into the egg whites a little at a time, whisking well between each new addition. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk for another 8 minutes.
The egg whites should be thick and glossy. The best way to check if the sugar has been incorporated is to rub a little of the mixture between finger and thumb. If it feels gritty, you need to whisk for longer. At this point you can add flavourings and other substances: chocolate hazelnut spread, for instance, or blueberry jam swirled through. Whatever takes your fancy!
Pop the mix into a piping bag with the nozzle of your choice. Drop your oven down to 100 degrees Celsius. Line some baking sheets with silicone paper and begin piping. Leave at least 4cm between each meringue. Go wild, pipe anything you fancy, mess about with shapes and sizes. For nests we usually pipe a spiral bottom and add little kisses around the edges. But it’s really up to your imagination.
Put them in the oven and leave for about an hour before checking. The bigger your shapes, the longer they will take to dry out. If they are colouring, your oven is too hot! They are ready when they come away from the baking sheets easily, the tops are firm, and if you tap the bottoms, they will sound hollow.