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Swiss Meringue

Made in my sister-in-laws kitchen
In an earlier post I 'fessed up that I have never made a Meringue. Being brought up with a healthy eating JammyMummy we had loads of scrumptious food, but, I don't remember meringue. Gingerbreadgran didn't cook it either. This probably explains its absence from my residual cooking memory.

Inspired by this evenings Masterchef The Professionals challenge I'm going to make it. After all I just watched it done 5 times - that's got to help. So now to work out what to put it on top of. A bit of research shows this type of meringue is used to decorate tarts, cookies and for decorations. Having had a think I have seen it on top of lemon filled donuts. Whilst visiting I got my sister-in-law to walk me through my first attempt. All of this post is her expertise as passed onto to me.

So, according to her, you can pipe it onto a tray and make little toppings or pipe on top of a tart for a lush deep topping. Because it needs minimal cooking it can go onto a finished product and be grilled to give some colour on the top whilst being like marshmallow underneath. The alternative is baked long and slow for crunchy melt in the mouth treat. A great excuse to get out the piping kit for a bit of practice.

What is a Swiss Meringue? It involves heating the egg whites and sugar in a bain marie (or bowl over pan of hot water) until the sugar dissolves, then beating the egg whites to stiff peaks. There are Italian and French types, adventures for another day I think. Small steps.

3 large, organic egg whites
175g white caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

We even got the piping gear out
Put the egg whites into large glass, grease free bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water. While continuously whisking, slowly add the caster sugar - 1 tablespoon at a time - until the meringue mixture reaches 40°C. Whisk in the vanilla extract until combined. Once the temperature has been reached put in a mixer to mix whilst it cools down.
Its ready when the peaks hold their shape.
Put into a piping bag and pipe onto whatever you are using it for. 

Either, grill to give some colour and eat all fluffy and soft, or (having piped onto greasproof paper) bake for 1 1/4 hours for mallowy centres, or 1 1/2 hours if you prefer crisper meringues at 140°C.

1 comment:

  1. We have this type in Spain, we do a lot of grilling and not a lot of oven cooking.