As the days are getting shorter and the nights longer, I'm finding it hard to cook up a storm and photograph it in the last hour of good light when I get home from work. I promise this won't be another post about how much I'm missing Summer but those were the food photographing days and this is my last Summer recipe!
For a while now I've been obsessed with Meringue Girls, attempting their striped meringues has become a hobby of mine; this recipe included although the food colouring I used wouldn't hold onto the bag so you'll have to forgive me for my weak striped kisses. This obsession started a couple of months ago when I found myself drooling over Meringue Girls window display in Selfridges store in London, with the conveyor belt of kisses and giant candy striped meringues (relive the experience on instagram) it was like something from a dream (at least my childhood dreams of going and finding out your school had replaced all the furniture with sweets!).
This might also be my last dairy recipe for a while, it doesn't make me very happy to say that I am trialling no dairy for health reasons. I'm really hoping it's not the cause because a life without cheese is not my ambition, the cat who sometimes visits our flat (seen here trying to eat my meringues) probably won't be as frequent a visitor without his bowl of cream, and it'll put at risk my friend Louise disowning me as I've already given up caffeine and apparently that was a change too far! However, what a recipe to go out on, I mean the actual dairy only features in the Eton Mess but it's a good and simple Eton Mess! I hope you enjoy it, I'm off to buy some soya yoghurt. Wish me luck!
Raspberry Meringue Kisses
(makes about 20 kisses)
2 medium eggs
120g caster sugar
Food colouring (recommend gel based)
Handful of freeze dried raspberries
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, line a baking tray with baking paper and pour all of the sugar onto the tray. Once the oven has come to temperature, put the tray in the oven and heat the sugar till the edges begin to melt; this happens quite quickly so make sure you keep an eye on it as you don't want the sugar to melt completely and harden.
Step 2. Crack the eggs separating the egg whites from the yolks (save the yolks you can use them in pasta dishes, to enrich sauces or in a chocolate mousse). Place the egg whites in a clean glass or metal bowl and whisk using an electric whisk till the egg whites form stiff peaks when you take the whisk out of the bowl. I've done this recipe using a non-electric whisk and it takes a long time for very flat results, so if you don't have an electric whisk you can get one for about a tenner now so it's worth investing in (also helps with marshmallow making, see here!), or purchase some meringues from Meringue Girls and claim them as your own!
Step 3. Turn down the oven to 100°C and take the sugar out of the oven. Continue to whisk the meringue mix adding the hot sugar a spoon at a time (you might want to get someone to help you out for this step). Once all the sugar is incorporated continue to whisk the mix for 5 minutes, at this stage if you want to you can add a flavouring, as a tip if you add too much liquid to your meringue they will lose their height and stiffness so try and experiment with more dry flavourings.
Step 4. Turn a disposable piping bag inside out and paint stripes of your food colouring onto the bag, Meringue Girls have a really good video of how to do this here. I used liquid food colouring and you can see I didn't get the strong stripes I expected so I'd use gel colouring instead. Turn the piping bag back the right way and fill with your meringue mixture, cut the tip of the piping bag so the opening is about 2 cm in diameter.
Step 5. Pipe your kisses onto a lined baking tray so the kisses are approximately 2cm in diameter and pull the bag up at the end to create a peak. Break the freeze dried raspberries into little pieces (you can do this by placing them in a sandwich bag and hitting them with a rolling pin) and scatter them heartily over the kisses.
Step 6. Bake the kisses in the oven at 100°C for 30 minutes, once done take them out of the oven and leave to cool. These kisses will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container, but honestly eat 14 of them now and then make a quick Eton Mess like the recipe below!
Quick Eton Mess
(for one greedy person or two)
6 raspberry meringue kisses
150ml double cream
As many raspberries as you want (1 punnet for me!)
Step 1.Whisk the double cream for 5 minutes till it's thick and it stands up on itself.
Step 2. Place the kisses, whipped cream and raspberries in a bowl.
Step 3. Eat the bowl's contents.
Step 4. Have a peppermint tea to soothe your indigestion caused by eating 20 meringues in one day.