The meringues started with the aioli I made to go with the fish cakes I haven’t blogged yet. But aioli leads to left over egg whites, which need using up, so I made meringues for the non-Jubilee picnic we went to on Tuesday. And that in turn led me to wonder about piping the meringues, especially because I am making some small person friendly treats for the fundraising ceilidh our playgroup is having tomorrow (North Merchiston Club, from 2, if you fancy it) and what can be better for that task than brightly coloured incredibly bright pieces of sugar?
The piping was surprisingly easy, now that I’ve invested in some disposable bags and watched some videos (my favourite) Eldest helped very enthusiastically with colour choice and mixing the dyes into the meringue.
Castor sugar (60g per egg white)
Food dye – I use the pastes as the colour is more intense
Preheat your oven to 110 C. Put the egg whites in your mixer, making sure the bowl is very clean. Whisk at a medium speed and then after a few minutes nudge it higher. The whites are whisked enough when they are at the stiff peak stage. When you lift the whisk out of the egg the peak left behind should stay. To double check and impress any small children you have about, you can take the bowl out of the mixer and turn it upside down. It is ready when it doesn’t move at all.
Now add the sugar slowly while the mixer is still going. You are aiming for a thick glossy mixture, not quite as light as before you added the sugar, but try not to over beat. Once the mixture is ready, decide how many colours you want and divide the meringue accordingly. Stir the colours in gently and when the colour is consistent you are reading to pipe. I have nothing to add to the video above technique wise, except the advice to balance the piping bag in a pint glass while you are filling it. If you want want marbled meringues, just swirl the colour through a small amount.
Pipe the meringues onto some baking parchment and put them in the oven for an hour and a quater to an hour and a half. To get them really crispy all the way through, I leave them into the oven after I turn off the heat, ideally overnight. If you like them slightly chewy in the middle, take them out after the cooking time is over.