Meringue can be tricky sometimes, so I hope these tips and tricks will help anyone trying to make the perfect meringue.
To prevent your meringue from ‘weeping’, add 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch to each tablespoon of sugar before adding to egg whites. ‘weeping’ is when there is too much moisture in your meringue, This causes droplets of water to appear all over the meringue which is not ideal and should be avoided.
When making meringue pie, Turn off the oven and open the oven door slightly when the meringue has finished browning and let the pie cool slowly in the oven. This will prevent the meringue from cracking and weeping.
To remove meringue shells from their baking paper, slightly moisten the underside of the paper with cold water. Slide a spatula carefully under the meringue and it should lift off easily and in one piece.
To achieve a high meringue, add a pinch of baking powder to the egg whites before beating them.
Try and use eggs that are three or four days old, as thin older egg whites whip more easily to a higher volume compared to thick and fresh egg whites.
Avoid making meringue on humid days. meringues are mostly air, and if moisture gets in, it will have an effect on the end result.
cold eggs separate easier than eggs at room temperature.
Make sure that no yolk or fat gets into the meringue as it will destroy it. Fat interferes with the formation of good foam.
To separate, crack the egg and hold the shell halves over a bowl. Transfer the yolk back and forth between the halves, letting the white drop into the bowl. Do not cut the yolk (whites containing any yolk will not beat properly). Transfer the yolk to another bowl.
A beaten egg white can foam up to 6 or 8 times its original volume if the egg whites have been at room temperature for 30 minutes before beating
Beat in the sugar at the end rather than at the start. Adding the sugar at the start can add double the whipping time. Add the sugar in at the end when the meringue has soft peaks.
My all time favorite dessert is a delicious bubbly Chocolate Mousse. While browsing for a mousse recipe last week, I managed to find this gem of a recipe.
7 oz of milk or dark baking chocolate ( I like to mix it up with my favorite chocolate bars like Galaxy)
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 oz of golden caster sugar
Place the broken up chocolate and 120 mil of warm water in a large mixing bowl and have it over a a saucepan of (barely) simmering water. Ensure that the bowl is not touching the water in any way. heat the water at a low temperature so the chocolate melts slowly. It should take 6-7 minutes
Remove from the heat, and using a wooden spoon, stir well until glossy and smooth and let cool for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the egg yolks and blend well. Set aside.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to the soft-peak stage.
Whisk in the sugar, a 1/3 at a time and then whisk again untill the whites are glossy.
With a metal spoon, fold a tablespoon of egg whites into the chocolate mix to loosen it, then carefully fold in the rest.
The end of the recipe needs patients as the mix needs to be gently folded and cutting movements to retain the air which makes the mousse light.
Place the mousse in the containers you plan on serving them in, cover with clingfilm and put in fridge for at least 2 hours.
Add some Whipped cream on top to serve. I prefer the whipped cream you get in a container as it is the tastiest and really compliments the chocolate mousse.
One of my best friend’s turns 21 this week and I am obviously going to take advantage of this opportunity to bake him a cake. While researching the perfect type of icing to use, I came across this really easy recipe for butter icing. Just add whatever flavoring or food colouring you want at the end!
So here is the recipe I used for my brothers guitar cake below. The only adjustment I made was doubling the amount of Oreo’s it originally said to use and using chocolate filled Oreo. I had to make three or four batches to construct the guitar shape. It was extremely fun making it and very rewarding afterwards to see all of his friends in shock when we came in with the cake and sparks shooting up from the firework-like candles! I found this delicious recipe; take a look yourself!
226g of Stork
266g of caster sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
20 crushed chocolate crème Oreo cookies
4 medium eggs
270g of self-raising flour
1 pinch of salt
2 teaspoons of milk
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree’s (fan assisted)
Beat the stork in a baking bowl until light and fluffy
Add sugar and vanilla essence to butter and beat together until well mixed
Add eggs, one at a time and mix until mixture has doubled in size
Add flour and salt and mix thoroughly
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add in the milk
Mix again until all ingredients are well incorporated
Add in your 8 crushed Oreo cookies
Pour mixture into your pre-greased baking tin
Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes. Sponge is ready when a skewer inserted in to the mixture comes out clean with no bits attached
Once removed from oven, leave it to cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.