Vanilla Mini Meringues
Last day I discover that making meringues is not as such difficult as I was thinking. The prep time is fast but the baking time is much longer. But you can always do a lot of things while you pretty mini meringues are in the oven.
It’s very important that all your equipment is spotlessly clean: a tiny drop of fat, or the tiniest bit of egg yolk may ruin your meringue, making it flat instead of tall and fluffy. To make sure your bowl is completely clean: rub it with the cut side of 1/2 lemon before adding the egg whites.
- Preheat oven to 220˚ F (100˚ C) with the fan setting. Put the egg whites + sugar + seeds from a vanilla bean into a large bowl (this bowl will be used for a double boiler in step 2). If you have a standing mixer, take the bowl of your standing mixer. It will be more practical for the next steps.
- Prepare a double boiler and whisk by hand for about 4 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a electric standing mixer and beat on low speed for about 4 minutes.
- Increase the speed and mix for another 3 minutes, or until the bowl no longer feels warm to the touch.
- You can see when the mixture is ready by leaving whisk attachment from bowl and it should form a nice pic (bec d’oiseau).
- For bicolour meringue, add gel food colouring in half of your preparation.
- Fill a dual pastry bag (available here).
- Use a star nozzle like the 21 from Wilton (available here).
- Form mini meringues.
- Bake meringues at 220° F (100° C) for 1 hour. Then, leave the meringues in your off oven for all night. Hence the name “forgotten” – rumour has it that a lady once forgot the meringue in the oven, then woke up to the most deliciously crunchy meringues.
For biggest meringues, adjust cooking time between 1 and 3 hours. It’s hard to tell exactly when the meringue is done, but the easiest way to check this is to release one from the baking paper. If it comes off easily, it’s done, if it sticks, bake for a few more minutes.
You may add flavorings to your meringue, such as essences, or you can dust with cocoa powder or raw licorice powder, or use sprinkles.