How many eggs have you wasted trying to whisk up perfect peaks only to be looking down into a curdled puddle?
Meringues are well-known for being a bit tricky to make, but this week I’ll show you a fool-proof method which should result in the ultimate meringue in eight simple steps. Plus, it’s always worth keeping in mind that if it does go wrong, it is only eggs and sugar!
What you will need
3 large egg whites
175g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
Large fine wired whisk
Glass or metal bowl
Before we start, it’s worth noting that you can use an electric whisk which is time effective and pretty much guarantees pert meringues, but I know not everybody has one. So, I will be going old school and hand whisking the mixture.
There are a few key things to keep in mind which I’ve noted down below.
lFirstly, ensure there is no puncture to the egg yolk after separating it from the white, as any bits of yoke which may have escaped into the egg whites will impair your ability to whisk them properly. Secondly, ensure your egg whites are at room temperature. I would also recommend using a glass or metal bowl, as plastic bowls often retain fat from previous mixtures which could damage the egg whites. Lastly, ensure your bowl is bone dry.
lLine your baking tray with greaseproof paper and pre-heat the oven to 140C or Gas Mark 1.2, Place your egg whites and pinch of salt into the bowl.
lBegin whisking your eggs at a fast and consistent pace until they begin to look foamy, working in as much air as possible.
lNow, slowly begin to incorporate the sugar, one table spoon at a time. Continue whisking and do not be tempted to add more sugar until the last table spoon has fully dissolved.
lContinue whisking the mixture, keeping your eye on it at all times to ensure you are not over-whisking it. Your mixture should slowly become firmer and develop a smooth glossy look.
lTo check if your mixture is ready, withdraw your whisk slowly and see if the peaks stay upright on their own. If they do, then you are there and can stop whisking. If not, carry on very carefully until you can remove the whisk and let the peaks stand on their own, but be careful not to overdo it.
lNow you’ve got your mixture, using a large metal spoon, scoop out some of the mixture and place on the baking tray carefully repeating the process until you have run out.
lPlace in oven and bake for 30-40mins. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly to let the meringues cool down in the oven.
Glenn Futter is head chef at La Cachette restaurant, Elland. To find out more about La Cachette go to www.lacachette-elland.com
Go to www.halifaxcourier.co.uk to see a video of Glenn making perfect meringues.