Perfectly imperfect meringues
( MAKES 30 )
My meringues come out differently every time. Sometimes they crack, sometimes they don’t, but it doesn’t matter as they are always delicious. Given that egg whites vary a lot in size, you might like to weigh them and use 50g sugar per egg white.
|4||Egg whites, at room temperature|
|⅔ cup||Caster sugar|
|½ cup||Icing sugar|
|1 tsp||Vanilla extract|
|¼ cup||Icing sugar, to dust|
|1 dessert spoon||Whipped cream, to serve|
|1 handful||Fresh berries, to serve|
|1 handful||Mint leaves, to serve|
- Heat oven to 120°C fanbake and line 2 oven trays with baking paper for easy clean-up.
- Place egg whites and salt in a very clean bowl and whisk with an electric mixer or beater until fluffy. Gradually add caster sugar and beat on high speed for 10 minutes. Check the sugar is fully dissolved by rubbing a little of the mixture between your fingers – it should not be grainy. Stir in icing sugar at little at a time, then mix in vanilla just until combined (don’t over-mix at this point).
- Scoop heaped tablespoonfuls of meringue onto prepared trays, or transfer to a piping bag and pipe rounds. Bake for 1¼ hours. Turn off oven and leave meringues inside to cool for 1 hour without opening door. If not using at once, they will keep for months in an airtight container.
- Make berry coulis while meringues are in the oven. If using fresh strawberries, hull and coarsely slice them. Whizz berries or strawberry slices in a food processor or blender with all remaining ingredients until smooth. Pass through a sieve to remove pips. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days until needed.
- Dust meringues with icing sugar and serve garnished with whipped cream, Berry Coulis, berries and mint, if desired.