I was put off attempting meringues after being kitchen hand to a friend as she made macarons. Man those things are fiddly. Age this, dry that, grind this up, measure the temperature of the other. Make a ganache. Write an anxious email to Adriano Zumbo about your feet. Where I was making my error was in assuming meringues are similar. They aren’t. Do you want the Women’s Weekly fail safe meringue recipe? Of course you do.
It really is just dump all the ingredients in the KitchenAid and let the whisk do its thing. No messing about with the thoroughly clean bowl or the order of ingredients. I’ve made them a few times now to much acclaim. Today, to the annoyance of my family, I decided to mess with them.
I blame ooh aah cooking. She put up a link to instructions for making strawberry dust. You’ll appreciate that the problem with adding flavours to many recipes is the fact that the flavours have to be relatively dry, otherwise they muck up the consistency. But if you can dry out strawberry! Or any other berry, or mango or pineapple or any of those flavoursome but damp fruits! Look out friand recipe. Here’s what you do.
You blend up half a kilo of strawberries. Or however much you have on hand. You spread the pulp over a couple of baking paper lined trays, thus.
You put them in the oven for many hours. The oven temperature should be below 100 degrees, just high enough for water vapour to be condensing on the glass of the oven door. Fifty degrees wasn’t high enough on my oven, I had to go to about seventy. What you end up with is this.
You let that cool and ignore your husband’s passing comment that it may be time to request some more hours at work. Blend it up in the blending device you happen to have to hand. It doesn’t quite go to dust.
Now make your fail safe meringue. Place in the KitchenAid bowl the whites of two eggs, one and a half cups of caster sugar, four tablespoons of boiling water, a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of white vinegar and half a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Whisk for quite some minutes, you can leave it whisking until it gets really solid.
At this point I added in a quarter of a cup of the strawberry not quite powder and whisked that in. Pop heaped teaspoons of the stuff on baking paper lined trays, or you could go all fancy and pipe them, they hold their shape well. Bake at 180 degrees for ten minutes, then drop the oven to about 120 degrees and let it go for another fifty minutes.
See, it has zingy little flecks of strawberry through it. I think they’re delicious. The Horror wants me to go back to plain ones , but he’ll help me out by eating these ones. I still have some strawberry particles left, but I have to go to work now. Additional strawberry awesomeness will have to wait.