There is always that one dish that you feel you just aren’t ever going to get right.
For me its been the dreaded meringue and and its the reason why you’ve never seen a meringue recipe on Chew Town… till now. Sure, I’ve made heaps of attempts in the last few years but they’ve never made it to the blog (can somebody say perfectionist?).
After yet another meringue failure earlier in the year (peanut butter meringues this time), I was determined that by the end of 2013 I was going to have a successful meringue recipe on the blog or so help me god!
This time I approached my nemesis with caution, I researched a number of meringue recipes of all different flavours and finally pieced together what I thought could possibly create the perfect meringue. Being Christmas and with a candy cane theme already in mind for 2013, these candy cane meringues were born – and they worked perfectly just in the nick of time. Huzzah!
This recipe generated a healthy batch of 50 meringues which were shared happily among my colleagues at Opera Australia. All reports were that they had the perfect blend of crisp and chew (music to my ears). Finally, I had a meringue recipe worth sharing – and I’m delighted to now share it with you.
Candy Cane Meringues
Makes 45 – 50 mini meringues
6 fresh free-range egg whites, at room temperature
300g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Red food colouring
Preheat oven to 140° Celsius.
Ensure the metal bowl of an electric mixer is clean and completely dry, then add egg whites. Beat on medium speed until the egg whites form soft peaks, then increase speed to medium high and add the caster sugar gradually. Continue beating on high till the mixture becomes glossy and forms stiff peaks.
Add cream of tartar and peppermint extract and fold through 5 or 6 times gently and lightly ensuring you do not lose any air in the mixture.
Fit a piping bag with a round nozzle. Taking a skewer dipped in red food colouring, drag a few drops in two sides of the bag and gently fill with some of the mixture.
Line two baking trays with paper. Gently pipe small mounds of the meringue mixture onto the trays with bases the size of 50c pieces and spaced 1.5cm from each other. Repeat with remaining mixture re-applying red food colouring to the bag between each refill.
Place trays in the oven and bake for 50 – 60 minutes until the bases are firm. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven to cool completely with a wooden spoon handle wedged between the door of the oven to keep it ajar.
Once cool, place in an airtight container to stay crisp till you are ready to serve. These will last for a week in an airtight container.