You know, those massive ones with the swirls in that you get at bakeries.
I am OK at making regular meringues (that I now know to be “French”), but I wanted something a bit more solid. I have been told that they are Swiss meringues. OK then. I think I remember a challenge on Great British Bake Off that involved two kinds of meringue, an Apparently Swiss meringues are the most stable before cooking, which sounds like a good recommendation to me.
The recipe I’m using is by Dan Lepard, who I had not heard of before but if this works I’ll definitely count myself a fan. His recipe was for 115g of egg white and 225g of sugar, but I wanted to make “two eggs worth”, so I weighed the whites and came up with 125g of sugar. #Maths. He also said that you should use caster sugar but I really don’t see the point, especially if you are dissolving it anyway, so I used granulated because that’s what I had.
So: Put oven on at 150C. Put boiling water in a pan on the hob, turn on heat to get it simmering. Put egg whites and sugar in pan and stir a bit til it all seems hot and melted/dissolved. Now you want to whisk the egg/sugar mixture for ages and ages while it cools down. The recipe says 15 minutes. Anyone who has tried to make bread and “knead for 10 minutes” knows that’s a very long time. If you have nothing electric that can whisk do not even attempt this unless you are very strong and have a very high boredom threshold. A Kitchenaid type thing would be great for this (Dan says to use the metal bowl, if you have one). I used the machine below.
I do not recommend using this kind of machine to make this kind of meringue. The mixture got very stiff, the whisk no longer moved, and I ended up breaking my drive shaft. Whoops. Espares have lots of spare parts and also do next-day delivery, useful if you find yourself in this kind of predicament.
I decided to proceed anyway… I blobbed the mixture onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Put into oven, turn oven down to 130C. If you’ve made the right amount (115g egg, 225g sugar), you should have 12 meringues and should cook them for 45 mins, then turn off the oven and leave them in while the oven cools down.
They expand a bit in the oven but not a lot
Here they are – very tasty and crisp with a hole in the middle.
I will be making these again, and next time I’m going to attempt doing some colourful swirls. I’ll also use ,my electric hand mixer with the whisk attachment and hope that it doesn’t break…