Whether you include Eton Mess among your top puddings or you love crunching down on dainty meringue kisses, one thing is undeniable: meringue is one of our favourite sweet treats in the UK.
Wondering how easy it is to make meringues from scratch? This delicious dessert features just two ingredients: sugar and egg whites. Our bakers recommend always using caster sugar as it’s finer than regular sugar, meaning you’ll achieve a nice crispy texture when your meringues finally come out of the oven. You could also choose to flavour your meringue by adding a dash of Vanilla Extract.
There are so many different recipes to choose between when it comes to making meringue. Here we’ll take you through an easy-peasy option for whipping up six individual vanilla-flavoured meringues:
What you’ll need:
· 3 large egg whites (the fresher, the better!)
· 175g caster sugar
· ½ tsp vanilla extract
Top Tip: Make sure you don’t get any egg yolk into your egg whites as they won’t whip up properly. You could even use a carton of egg whites or Dr. Oetker Egg White Powder, so you don’t have to separate your eggs or have leftover egg yolks.
How to make meringues:
1. Preheat your oven to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1.
2. Allow your egg whites to reach room temperature before you begin. Then, in a large glass or metal mixing bowl that’s completely free from any grease, whisk up your egg whites so they form stiff peaks.
3. While you’re still whisking, add your sugar a spoonful at a time. Make sure each spoon is combined with the egg white before adding the next.
4. Tip in the ½ tsp of vanilla extract and whisk again.
5. On a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, spoon or pipe out six meringues. Make sure they’re spread apart evenly on the tray.
6. Bake your meringues for around 75 minutes if you want a chewy centre or 90 minutes if you want your meringues to be crispy.
7. For crispier meringues, turn off your oven and leave the tray to cool inside. This will stop them from cracking and prevent moisture from getting to them.
Top Tip: Pipe a small amount of meringue mixture onto the corners of the greaseproof paper and use this to stick it to the baking tray. It will help keep the baking paper in place as you pipe.
Adding a bit of colour to your meringues is a great way to turn them into showstopping delights. There are lots of brilliant ways to do this too, from creating a lovely marble effect to adding candy-coloured stripes.
To make coloured meringues, simply add a few drops of Dr. Oetker Gel Food Colour to your meringue mix. Gently fold it through until the entire mix is coloured. Make sure you’re not too vigorous with your folding otherwise you’ll knock all the air out and stop your meringues from rising properly in the oven.
Making marbled meringues uses a similar method to coloured meringues. Add food colouring as above, but don’t completely combine it into the meringue mix. You can then create a beautiful marble effect by twirling the spoon as you carefully transfer the meringue to your baking tray to cook.
Keen to make rainbow-coloured meringues with pretty striped patterns? Firstly, you’ll need a piping bag. You can then use a paintbrush to carefully brush lines of food colouring/gel onto the inside of it. Why not try using multiple colours?
Next, pop your whipped meringue mix into the bag and start piping it onto a prepared lined baking tray. You might want to have a quick practice on some kitchen paper first.
Top Tip: Gel, paste or powdered colours are best used to colour meringues, so you are not adding excess liquid into your meringue mixture.
Want to whip up a big batch of meringues in advance? These mouth-watering morsels keep very well with the right storage.
To keep them fresh and crispy, allow your meringues to cool completely before placing them in an airtight container. This can then be stored at room temperature for two to three weeks. It’s best to leave any decorating until you’re just about to eat them too.
Thanks to their high sugar content and lack of fat, meringues keep very well. In fact, when stored correctly, you can enjoy your meringues for up to a month after you initially make them.
As a general rule, meringues will last about two to three weeks stored at room temperature or up to four weeks in the freezer.
Can you freeze meringue?
Yes, it’s possible to freeze meringues for up to a month. Just remember to let them cool completely before placing them in an airtight box or container. When you want to eat them, simply transfer them to the fridge to defrost overnight.
Are meringues gluten-free?
As meringue is made from just a mix of egg white and sugar, they are both gluten-free and dairy-free.
How do you make meringues chewy?
To achieve a nice chewy centre on your meringues, simply cook them for 15 minutes less time. You should then leave them to cool at room temperature and not in the oven.
What’s the difference between meringues and pavlova?
While they may look similar on the surface, a pavlova has a much softer, chewier texture than a traditional meringue. This marshmallow-like centre is achieved by adding a touch of cornflour to the mix and by cooking it at a slightly higher temperature, but for less time.
How long do meringues take to cook?
Depending on which type of meringue you’re making and the texture you’d like to achieve, you’ll likely find they take 60-90 minutes to cook.