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Meringues

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Ingredients

 
  • 4 egg whites (3-4 day old eggs are best)
  • 2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) cream of tartar
  • a few drops of vanilla essence (optional)
  • 150 g (250 ml) icing sugar
 

Method

  Get everything ready before you start; once you start whipping the egg whites, continue till you are finished. Do not stop to take a break.
All utensils should be squeaking clean, grease-free and dry; glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowls are the best.
After separating the egg yolk and egg white, bring the egg whites to room temperature, about 21C.
  1. Pre-heat oven to 150°C
  2. Place egg whites in a clean glass or metal bowl, add the cream of tartar and the vanilla essence and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until egg whites form soft peaks (the tips should just curl over when the beater is lifted.
  3. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the sugar at a time; continue beating until the mixture is glossy and holds a firm peak.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of meringue onto a prepared baking sheet or pipe the meringue onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper using a large round tip or a star tip. Or form little meringue nests to be filled with berries and/or ice cream for dessert.
  5. Bake the meringues at 120°C approximately 120 minutes (or at a even lower temperature for a longer time).
Remarks:

General rule: Add 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar and a ¼ cup of sugar for each egg white. Superfine sugar is best, since it dissolves faster than table sugar. More sugar will produce harder meringues, less sugar softer ones.

If you do not have cream of tartar use this cornstarch (Maizena) mixture to stabilise the mixture:
Stir 1 tablespoon cornstarch into 1/3 cup (80 ml) cold water; heat while stirring until the starch thickens and becomes clear, then cool. After the sugar has been beaten into the meringue and forms soft peaks, add the cornstarch mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating the meringue mixture to stiff peaks.

Makes about 50 smallish meringues.



Recipe
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