Basic meringue

Basic meringue

Meringhe

By
From
Venice
Makes
40–45
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Meringues are popular in Venice; you see them everywhere, from delicate pink and pale green ones, white ones sandwiched together with chocolate and cream, to enormous puddings made from sponge cake and clouds of toasted meringue looking like a mother-in-law’s hat at a wedding. There are various methods of making meringue but we find this is the best. It follows the Swiss method and is more robust than others when making flavoured meringues or using in a semifreddo.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
125g egg whites
250g caster sugar

Pistachio flavouring

Quantity Ingredient
50g pistachio nuts, finely ground in a food processor

Hazelnut flavouring

Quantity Ingredient
50g hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground in a food processor

Strawberry flavouring

Quantity Ingredient
100g strawberries
30g caster sugar

Method

  1. Put the egg whites and three quarters of the sugar into a heatproof mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water making sure that the water does not touch the bowl. Whisk the egg mixture using an electric beater to 45°C on a thermometer or until it becomes really thick and glossy. Carefully remove the bowl from the heat and stand it on a tea towel so that the bottom dries and doesn’t drip into the next bowl. Pour the mixture into a food mixer with a whisk attachment or use an electric beater and whisk until it doubles in size. Keep the whisk running and add the remaining sugar little by little.
  2. Preheat the oven to 110°C. Flavour the meringues by folding in one of the flavours opposite or you can leave them plain. For the strawberry meringues, it is pretty to ripple the coulis (see how to make below) through the meringues rather than mix it all in. Pipe or spoon the meringue mixture on to baking trays lined with baking parchment making them 4 cm wide and 2–3 cm high.
  3. Bake for around 30–40 minutes or until they are light to the touch, lift off easily, crisp on the outside and slightly soft of the inside. If you like them brittle leave them in the oven for another 15 minutes.

For the strawberry filling

  • Put the strawberries and sugar into a microwavable bowl and soften in the microwave for around 3–4 minutes or put into a small saucepan over a medium heat. When the strawberries can be squashed easily with a spoon against the side of the bowl or pan they are done. Sieve the mixture to get rid of any large pips and allow to cool. The same can be done with raspberries.
Tags:
Venice
Giancarlo
Katie
Caldesi
Venetian
Italian
European
Mediterranean
Italy
Europe
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