Method of the Meringue

It’s 11am; breakfast was eaten a lifetime ago and lunch a lifetime away. The Genuine Dining Co team have innocently followed our noses to The Old Coffee Café at Shepperton Studios, with the good intentions of just acquiring a coffee, HONEST!

This was until our senses were lavishly caressed with the sweet seduction of cakes, pastries, and meringues. A trifecta of goodies, which melted our resolve especially knowing that each were whipped up by the magical hands of our Chef.

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However, here at Genuine Dining Co, we’re no naïve elevenses’ we know the delicacy that will not leave us feeling guilty or button popping full. So let us introduce you to the lightest ever (yes really) Meringue!

After first tasting the crumbliest (and most fun) of sweet treats we have harangued the Chef at The Old Coffee Café for the recipe ever since. So much more than a meringue, they’re light, airy and utterly enchanting. Here is how to make them.

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Ingredients
4 egg whites
225g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional, but ALWAYS option for)

Method

Prep:
Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1.
Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper
Set up a piping bag with a medium-size star nozzle.

1. Grab a bowl and start whisking the egg whites in until very stiff. How stiff is stiff? The whites should stand in rigid peaks when the beaters are lifted out. Once you have reached this point, pour in roughly half the sugar and the vanilla extract and whisk again until the mixture becomes thick, firm and shiny. If you like meringues with soft, mallow centre like us, add 1 tsp cornflour and 1 tsp white wine vinegar to the mix along with the sugar.

2. (Chocolate Edition)
Finely grate a small knob of plain chocolate and chill while you make the meringue. Fold 1 tbsp cocoa powder into the basic mix.

3. Nearly there! Carefully spoon the meringue into the piping bag. Push any air out of the top and tightly twist the end of the piping bag to seal. Gently squeeze until meringue is visible at the end of the nozzle, begin piping onto your lined baking sheets. Pipe spiraling circles, about 6cm wide and 3 layers high – just like you would to ice a cupcake to make roughly 18.
Please Note: The meringues will spread slightly as they cook, so leave enough space between each one.

4. Scatter with the grated chocolate and bake for 45 mins at 140C/120C fan/gas 1, then for a further 45 mins at 120C/100C fan/gas ½.

5. Cool before eating and store in an airtight container.

Voilà!