Raindrop and Rain Cloud Meringues
"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky."
- Rabindranath Tagore
Little crunchy clouds of pure sweetness that make you feel like some sort of culinary genius when you master them but are sufficiently forgiving if they go a bit wrong.
This is something that pleases me greatly! Meringues have seemingly become my go to bake when I feel the compulsion to get down and dirty in the kitchen but don't want the heartache of a ruined bake. That's right, I said heartache, I'm not ashamed!
They are incredibly easy once you've got the recipe down and, providing you have an electric whisk, they have a remarkably quick preparation time.
The pros out there will be looking at these little monsters and thinking "These are no good - they have cracks. They have clearly been baked too quickly and for too long" and they would be right. But I had far too much fun piping these, eating them, and taking photos of them to care!
There are thousands of recipes out there for these but here's the one I use:
4 Large Egg Whites (best if they are a few days old, I usually use ones that I've had in the freezer for a few weeks)
200g Caster Sugar
100g Icing Sugar
Food Colouring of your choice
Preheat your oven to 100 degrees centigrade.
Put your egg whites into a preferably glass or metal clean bowl. It's super important that the bowl is totally grease free and can stay fairly cold, hence clean and glass/metal.
Whisk your egg whites until they reach stiff cloud like peaks.
Whilst still whisking add in your caster sugar slowly. Spoonful at a time. Making sure each spoonful is dissolved before adding the next.
Now repeat the last step with your icing sugar.
If you're colouring your meringues add it now.
Line a baking tray with some baking paper, use a small amount of meringue in each corner of the baking paper to glue it to the tray.
Pop you meringue mix into a piping bag and pipe to you hearts desire! Get creative!
Bake for 1 to 1 3/4 hours depending on the size of your meringues. You'll be able to tell when they are done by lifting them off the paper....if they pop straight off and sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in their whilst it cools down.
Serve with cream and fruit....or ice cream and melted chocolate.....or just go hardcore and eat them neat!
I'm determined that one day I will have baked enough of these for them to come out perfect every single time, but for the time being I'm more than happy to rely on their forgiving nature and keep them a stress free go to!