This post has been updated and an improved version of this recipe can be found by clicking here
My favourite desserts always contain meringues. I love that the crisp exterior hides a pillowy soft and sweet sticky centre that goes well with some whipped cream and fruit. And these little meringues are perfect for a garden party on a sunny day like today. You can serve them dipped in chocolate, with cream and fruit or crush them up into Eton Mess.
Meringue kisses, as they are affectionately known, are small meringues that are bursting with colour. Gel colouring pastes are used and the inside of the piping bag is painted so that the meringue kisses are striped. Cute as they are, I didn’t have any colours so made a paste with cocoa powder and boiling water and painted it, letting it cool before applying. Eventually it dissolved through the meringue mix and I ended up with chocolate meringues, not a problem however. The process is the exact same if you are using gel colourings.
Some of the meringues did collapse, which I think means I overwhipped the mixture. I’ve asked around and you can tell if you overwhip the mixture if the meringue starts to lose its glossiness.
You can make really tiny meringues, baked for the same time, and sandwich them together using melted chocolate as the glue. Once you’ve sandwiched them, they will only keep for about an hour before going soggy.
And here are how the masters do it on Youtube. Check out some more meringue recipes here:
½ tsp lemon juice
2 egg whites
150g granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cocoa powder mixed with 1 tbsp boiling water, cooled completely
Preheat the oven to 140°C. Cut out a sheet of baking parchment to fit your baking tray.
Squeeze the lemon juice into a large bowl and use kitchen roll to rub it around the bowl. Use a metal bowl since plastic bowls tend to retain a film of grease that can prevent your meringues from whisking up to full volume.
Add the egg whites and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Then add the sugar gradually and continue to whip until the meringue looks shiny. Test the meringue by lifting out the whisk and the meringue should only just flop over on the whisk. Dab the whisk onto the baking tray and stick down the parchment using the mixture.
Paint 4 vertical lines of the cocoa powder mixture (or gel food colouring paste, if you are using) into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Carefully transfer the meringue into the piping bag, trying not to distort the stripes. A friend to hold the bag completely open would be useful.
Apply pressure on the bag to form a strong star shape. Avoid pushing down when you are done and do not hold the piping bag too close to the tray. Keep the bag vertical and continue until you have used up the mixture.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until you can lift the meringues off the tray without sticking and the outside has crisped up completely. These meringues should not brown at all, the only colour comes from the cocoa powder.