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PLAIN MERINGUES Piped meringues
3 medium or large egg whites (about 105 - 120 g)
150 ml sugar

Lightly beat the egg whites in a bowl until they start to foam. To quicken the beating process, use an electric mixer.

Increasing speed to maximum, continue beating until the whites start to stiffen.

In picture above: piped meringues.

Start adding the sugar little at a time, beating continually. Beat the mixture for about 5 - 7 minutes, or until it is very stiff and has a silky sheen. The mixture should not drip from a spoon or spread at all when dropped on a baking sheet. Spoon or pipe the meringue into small mounds on baking sheet covered with non-stick parchment paper.

Spooned meringues In picture on right: spooned meringues.

Bake in a very cool oven  —  less than 100 °C  —  until the meringues are light, crisp and thoroughly dry. This may take anything between 3 to 6 hours. Towards the end of baking, you can leave the oven door ajar for the excess moisture to escape.


Meringue disks In picture on right: piped meringue disks.

Serve the cooled meringues with coffee or tea. Meringues may also be coarsely crushed and mixed in or sprinkled on top of desserts, like mousses, ice creams and parfaits.

Store the meringues in an airtight container, especially if you live in a humid climate.

You can pipe or spread the meringue mixture into large flat disks and layer them with filling after baking to make a meringue cake, or into smaller disks (in picture on right) and sandwich pairs of them together with a dollop of plain or flavoured whipped cream or butter cream, chocolate ganache, etc. Do not fill the meringues until only briefly before serving, as the filling will quickly soften them.

See a recipe for mini pavlovas, meringue nests filled with whipped cream and fruit.

Hazelnut meringues HAZELNUT MERINGUES

3 medium or large egg whites (about 105 - 120 g)
150 ml sugar
100 g chopped or ground hazelnuts or walnuts

Prepare the same way as plain meringues, and after you have whisked the egg whites and the sugar stiff, gently fold in the chopped or ground nuts.


Cocoa meringues COCOA MERINGUES

3 medium or large egg whites (about 105 - 120 g)
150 ml sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Prepare the same way as plain meringues, but mix the sifted cocoa powder with the sugar before beating them into the egg whites.


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