Monday, 16 May 2011


My meringues are legendary in our house! I also suggest them to my clients in the summer months for a beautiful and elegant dessert. My love for these little light whipped sugar clouds came from my Dad. He was the master of mini meringues, taking great pride in perfectly icing the soft peaks onto the baking trays and 'cooking' them in the hot cupboard over night. They always came out brilliant white, and his favourite filling would be local cornish clotted cream. If we were really lucky, me may be allowed to have one after the guests had been served, and I would sprinkle in a very 80's way chocolate vermicelli all over mine!

I was asked to make some small ones over the weekend for my friend who was hosting an afternoon tea party for her father's 80th birthday. Here is the method I use for perfect results every time.

4 large egg whites (free range)
8oz caster sugar
1 tsp corn flour

Preheat oven to 110

Whisk the egg whites in a large clean and DRY bowl until stiff peaks form. Don't over whip so it separates.
I use my Kenwood Chef to do the hard work for me. 
I add a table spoon of caster sugar at a time, whisking well in between each spoon. I add the cornflour half way and incorporate.
Continue to whisk until all the sugar is used. You should have a huge bowl of white silky soft peaks. At this stage now you can either make a Pavlova by placing all the mixture onto a large  lined baking tray and spread it into an 10 inch circle, making peaks as you do so.
I like to fill a piping bag with a star shape nozzle and pipe onto a lined baking sheet, making little shapes that resemble white walnut whips. I allow 2 per person.
Place into the oven for about 1 hour, turn off the oven and leave until cold. Remove the meringues and then sandwich together with whipped cream, clotted cream, chocolate ganache or whatever you fancy. I also think lemon curd stirred into whipped cream is delicious. In the summer months, always serve with fresh strawberries!
For a party centre piece I pile them onto a large white round platter, sprinkle with either fresh rose petals or edible sparkle dust and watch them disappear far quicker than the time it took to make them!

The afternoon tea party spread was beautiful, scones with jam and cream,
dainty little triangle sandwiches and a  selection of vintage tea cups, saucers and plates. 

The centre piece was an amazing cake appropriately designed for the garden loving birthday boy & girls (twins). My friend Rachel made the cake, she is mostly self taught and could be up there with Ace of Cakes, it was delicious as well as stunning!

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