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It has just occurred to me that I was meant to maintain a steady stream of posting throughout this long trip I've been on this week and I haven't. Long story short, at some point someone must have coughed on me and now I'm sick. So we're lucky I'm doing this, since I haven't accomplished even half of the things on my 'to do while away' list. If I ever catch the person responsible, I am going to make them pay.
Having fulfilled my recent French fantasy (well, one of them... I don't think I've told you of the one involving chilled Mumm, the penthouse suite of the Hotel de Vendome and an unthinkably large portion of fromage blanc au miel de fleurs. I think that's for another time.), I found myself with egg whites on hand.
A familiar drudgery.
I am sick of freezing them because I never seem to come back to the hard little bags of albumen once they have been squirrelled away in the ice box. So I decided to try turning out some of those huge, billowing meringues that you see under cover of glass in all the Parisian bakeries. They are usually expensive, which irks me, because they're made from just egg whites and sugar, and also make me think of Eton Mess which the French probably don't even know about. Shame.
These are what 1950s American teens would call a 'snap'. And they have gooey middles. I feel it important to point that out.
You will need:
5 egg whites (125g)
250g caster sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- We're going to go the Swiss meringue route here: dump the sugar and whites into a heatproof bowl and whisk over simmering water until you can no longer feel grains of sugar when you rub a little of the mixture between your fingers. I know this sounds strange, but it works: the sugar will dissolve.
- Remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer (for ease) until cool, around 10 minutes.
- Dollop the mixture onto the prepared sheets, put them into the oven and immediately switch it off. Allow the oven to cool fully before removing the meringues. I left them in there over night and they were fine.