A couple of weeks ago I had a delivery that got me so so giddy. The ever so wonderful postman and the lovely people from Domu.co.uk delivered me a shiny black retro VonShef stand mixer, not one but 2.
One for me and one to give away to my lovely readers arghhh! And it is beautiful, so beautiful it would serve perfectly well as a gorgeous kitchen ornament for the non-bakers amongst us. But I have wanted a retro mixer for so long.
I lovingly unpacked it and put in pride of place in my black gloss kitchen, it looks great! But I have also been putting this little beauty through its paces. Joe and I made cup cakes with it last week and it was fantastic. I am always pretty pleased with how light my cup cakes turn out, but the mixer made such a difference, with exactly the same ingredients as I always use the cakes were so much lighter and fluffier.
However a baking session with Joe is not always a photography dream, Joe exists in a state of chaos, and when he touches the kitchen it is like an explosion of ingredients, it gets everywhere. I also knew I was saving this little beauty for a mission.
You see I have always wanted to make perfect meringues, I remember my first attempt 20 years ago, 18 eggs later and no meringues, I had to go for a walk to calm down! A few years ago I managed them but they were a bit golden! Not white like I had envisaged.
So now I had my mixer there really was no excuse and yesterday I set the whole day aside for meringue making. I decided to make strawberry meringues, yes a bit ambitious when I am not an expert. And it was all going so well until I panicked and took them out of the oven too early.
I could have bluffed it taken some macro shots form a distance and brightened them a tad, but the truth was they were not cooked on the inside and golden on the outside grrrrr. The recipe called for a short time in a hot oven and my oven was not liking it one bit!
So now on a mission, I had committed myself to a meringue post, I had instagramed my preparation! I could be a fraud and post, or fess up and start again.
I decided I could not lie, I am rubbish at lying, and would trip myself up. So I scoured the Internet and looked at loads of recipes all conflicting! I ended up piecing together a few, trying to work out where I went wrong and ditching the Jam!
And hurrah, I managed to make pink swirl, and white glossy meringues and they tasted great. I will save the jam for another day.
Here is my recipe for light and fluffy Meringues cobbled together from loads of different recipes, but it worked for me.
How To Make Meringues
- 180 g caster sugar
- 120 g Icing sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- A pinch of salt
- A drop of vanilla essence
- Pre heat the over at 120 degrees.c
- Whisk the egg whites on high speed until the whites fall in peaks
- Add the salt and cream if tartar
- Add the sugar in as spoonful at a time and keep whisking until the mixture is glossy, but do not over mix
- Add the vanilla essence
- Put the mixture into piping bags and pipe in swirls on baking sheets lined with grease proof paper, being sure to leave a space in between.
- With cocktail sticks swirl red food colouring gently onto meringues to create a swirl pattern
- Put in the oven for 1 hour being sure to turn down to 100 degrees c after 30 mins
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Be sure the mixing bowl is clean of grease and dust before using.
Click here for a downloadable PDF version