Making Meringues

Meringues, made from egg whites, provide the topping for many appetizing desserts. Meringue shells can make delicious sweets, filled with raspberries or oranges and fresh cream. Take care to make sure the whisk and bowl are clean and free from any traces of egg yolk. Use eggs at room temperature and use a balloon whisk or an electric mixer.

Basic Meringue

2 egg whites

100 g (4 oz) caster sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 110°C (225°F) Gas Mark 4. Put egg whites into a clean dry bowl and whisk until stiff and in peaks. Add half the caster sugar a little at a time and continue beating until meringue is smooth and close textured and stands in firm peaks. Fold in rest of sugar, and pipe or spoon rounds of this mixture on to a baking tray covered with rice paper or non-stick greaseproof paper. Bake in the oven until dry and crisp but not brown.

Halfway through the cooking the meringues can be taken out and the base pressed in lightly to make space for a filling. Turn over shells and return to oven. Remove and cool on wire rack.

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