In an attempt to move away from cupcakes and build some other baking skills, I recently attempted to make my first ever meringues. Taking inspiration from The Great British Bake Off winner, Jo Wheatley, (who I saw at the Cake and Bake Show), I attempted mini meringue nests with a raspberry cream.
As usual, I kind of winged it in the recipe stakes and sort of made it up as I went along. I followed a basic recipe from Jo, who suggested using 50g of caster sugar for every egg white that I used. I then supplemented this with a little help from Nigella who suggested heating the oven at 150 degrees while preparing the meringues and reducing the heat to 110 degrees as soon as the nests go into the oven.
I used three egg whites which I blended with an electric mixer until fluffy. Then, while still whisking at a medium speed, the caster sugar is added one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is thick, white and glossy. I even did the bowl over the head trick and the meringue mixture thankfully stayed in place!
Using a piping bag, I attempted to shape a mixture of mini-nests and
small meringue dots. I then followed Nigella’s meringue recipe and baked for around 40 minutes. It turns out that even though the meringues sounded hollow when I tapped the bottoms, it turns out that this was not quite long enough and some were still a bit soft in the centre.
To make the raspberry cream, I used around 100ml of whipping cream, whipped until it was light and fluffy with an electric whisk. To this I added crushed raspberries and 2 tablespoons of icing sugar to reduce the tartness. Now, having never made meringues (and following a very slapdash recipe) my finished product came out a bit messy, especially with cream dolloped on top. In a bit of experimentation I decorated the meringue nests with dark chocolate piping and Dr Oetker Petal decorations.
In the end I was rather happy! For an experiment, they turned out a lot better than I originally expected although my recipe definitely needs a bit of honing!