Sunday, 6 June 2010

Chewy meringues

This weekend my daughters and I ran our local 5 kilometre ‘Race for Life’. Of course my daughters were keen to run this race and raise money for charity. They also quite liked the idea of receiving a shiny medal at the end of the race and the idea of having a delicious family Sunday lunch with some chewy meringues for pudding.

Number one daughter (age 10) ran a very respectable race and charged ahead completing the course in sub 30 minutes. My youngest (age 7) also ran super quick and for most of the way round the course. It made our lunch taste even better. The girls especially liked the meringues. This recipe makes a deliciously chewy meringue, the kind of meringue that will leave your family and friends fighting over the last one.

Serves 12
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
115g/4oz caster sugar
115g/4oz icing sugar
To serve:-
Double cream and berries 

1. Preheat the oven to fan 100C/ conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4. Line 2 baking sheets with Bake-O-Glide non-stick liner or parchment paper (meringue will stick on greaseproof paper and foil).
2. Tip the egg whites into a large clean metal mixing bowl – make sure the bowl is clean and do not use a plastic bowl. Beat the eggs with an electric hand whisk until the mixture is fluffy and stands up in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted.
3. Next, start to add the caster sugar. Continue beating once all of the caster sugar is added and mixed in stop the whisks. It’s important not to over-beat the mixture. The mixture should be thick and glossy.
4. Sift a third of the icing sugar over the mixture and then gently fold it in with a big metal spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the icing sugar a third at a time. Again, don't over-mix. The mixture should now look smooth and billowy once all the icing sugar has been combined.
5. Scoop up a heaped dessertspoonful of the mixture. Using another dessertspoon, ease it on to the baking sheet them into rough rounds. Alternatively you can make two large round meringues if you prefer.

6. Bake for 1 1⁄2hours in a fan oven, 1 1⁄4 hours in a conventional or gas oven, until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath and are a pale coffee colour. Leave to cool on the trays or a cooling rack.

The meringues will now keep in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks.
Serve two meringues sandwiched together with a generous dollop of softly whipped double cream and some berries. If you have made large meringues then top with whipped cream and berries and serve in slices

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