For some reason I've had a fear of baking meringues and pavlovas most of my life. I know for many of you, you whip up a bunch of meringues in a second and think nothing of it, but for those of you out there who share my irrational fear, I'm here to help. Today I decided to face my fears and have a go at making meringues all by myself.
My Mum is the queen of Pavlovas. If there is a Christmas celebration or birthday gathering, Mum will usually bring a pavlova, the classic Kiwi dish. Her pavlova's are the best - super crunchy on the outside and a little bit soft and chewy on the inside and always smothered with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
I've only ever attempted to make a pavlova once, and it was pretty depressing. I'm thinking I might need to conquer that fear one day, but first, lets focus on it's smaller cousin, the meringue!
While thinking of something quick and easy to make for dessert (that is also gluten free for a family member), I settled on meringues (with cream, strawberries and ice cream of course!). As I gazed at the over priced packets of meringues at the supermarket yesterday, I decided that I needed to face my fears.
Here's the simple recipe I used, and it worked just fine! You can make them as little or big as you like, and I used my piping bag to get a neat finish (so much easier than spooning them onto the tray).
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
Turn your oven to 120°C, and prepare your tray (line with baking paper).
Whisk your egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar (spoonful at a time) and continue to mix well until all the sugar has been added and mixed.
Once mixture is glossy and firm peaks have formed, spoon carefully onto baking trays (or use an icing bag to pipe the mixture onto the tray).
Before putting the tray in the oven, reduce the temperature to 90°C and bake for 1½ hours. When the cooking time has finished, turn the oven off and leave until cool.
Store the meringues in an airtight container - or eat right away!
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