This recipe calls for three egg whites. With the remaining egg, I make salt-cured yolks. During my meringue mission, I learned three things:
- No yolk. Only whites;
- Something acidic will lead to the chewy inside;
- We do not bake meringues, we dry them. (Preferably overnight.)
These make teeny tiny meringue puffs that are hard on the outside with a little chew — not chewy chewy but there’s a little chew. Great for snacking and decorating cakes.
- 3 egg whites
- 150 grams of caster sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla essence (optional)
- a pinch of cream of tartar, or the juice of a lemon squeeze
A tip from Ottolenghi — heat the sugar in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius before you start.
To prepare, line a baking tray with baking paper.
Separate the egg whites from their yolks and whisk them until semi-stiff peaks form.
Keep the oven on, but remove the sugar. While still whisking the egg whites, pour in the sugar bit by bit (I use a tablespoon). Make sure the sugar dissolves in the mixture before putting in more. Don’t put all of the sugar in at once.
If you have a piping bag, you can prepare your meringues with colour by painting food colouring on the sides of the bag. Then fill the bag with the meringue mixture.
Pipe little (2-3 cm) meringues onto the baking sheet. My technique is to keep the piping bag a little above the tray, squeeze until the meringue hits the nozzle, and then lift it directly upwards for a ‘drop’ look.
If you don’t have a piping bag, scooping the mixture with two teaspoons works also.
Place in the oven for 1-2 hours. Sometimes I leave them for a few hours at a lower temperature (70 degrees or so). When they’re done, you’ll know because they will lift away easily from the paper.
Store in an airtight container, and enjoy.