Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Halloween ghost meringues

The perfect sweet treat for Halloween! Serves 16
4 large organic egg whites, at room temperature
115g caster sugar
115g icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to fan 100C degrees or conventional 110C degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with a non-stick liner or parchment paper as meringue can stick on greaseproof paper and foil.

2. Put the 4 large egg whites into a large clean mixing bowl (not plastic). Beat them on medium speed with an electric hand whisk until the mixture resembles a fluffy cloud and stands up in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted.

3. Now turn the speed up and start to add 115g caster sugar, a dessertspoonful at a time. Continue beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition. It’s important to add the sugar slowly at this stage as it helps prevent the meringue from weeping later. However, don’t over-beat. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy.

4. Sift one third of the 115g icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a big metal spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the remaining icing sugar a third at a time. Again, don’t over-mix. The mixture should now look smooth and billowy, almost like a snow drift.

5. Scoop up a heaped dessert spoonful of the mixture. Using another dessert spoon, ease it on to the baking sheet to make an oval shape creating ghost-shaped swirls. Add little candies to them for eyes.

6. Bake for 1 1⁄2-1 3⁄4 hours in a fan oven, 1 1⁄4 hours in a conventional or gas oven, until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath and are a pale coffee colour. Leave to cool on the trays or a cooling rack. The meringues will now keep in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for a month. Serve two meringues sandwiched together with a generous dollop of softly whipped double cream.

6. Try these variations, hazelnut meringues with hazelnut praline & chocolate sauce, almond meringue with summer berries or pecan toffee meringue with mulled pears.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2003

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