Today I’m preparing a special recipe for the weekend, something I’ve never made before and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn out okay. I’m talking about meringues, which are notoriously difficult to get right, and take a lot of hard work with a whisk! Luckily, I’ve got my new Russell Hobbs stand mixer to try out and I’m hoping that having a new bit of kitchen kit will make all the difference to my baking. I found the recipe online at BBCGoodFood.com and it was so simple to follow. These are the ingredients: 4 large egg whites, 115g caster 115g icing sugar. Yes, really, that’s it.
The Russell Hobbs Aura Hand and Stand Mixer that I’m using combines a hand whisk and a mixer stand, which has a bowl that rotates as the whisk gets to work, so I didn’t even need to do any work to whisk the egg whites into peaks – I just kept an eye on it while I got on with the washing up! Once the egg whites are forming peaks when the whisk is lifted out of the mixture, add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time, mixing for a few seconds in between each addition. I took the mixer off the stand at this stage so that I could mix the sugar in all directions, as the sugar seemed to want to stay in the centre of the bowl. Mix until combined, smooth and glossy. Sift the icing sugar into the egg whites in thirds, folding in with a spatula before adding more icing sugar. Be careful not to mix too hard and definitely don’t use a whisk for this!
Spoon into a piping bag and pipe rounds onto greaseproof paper – or just dollop on with a spoon if you prefer.
These were baked in the oven at 100 degrees for around minutes to an hour (just keep an eye on them) because my meringues were quite small, but if you want to make bigger meringues simply increase the baking time up to 1 and a half hours or so until the outside is crisp and slightly golden.
Allow to cool and then whip up some double cream until it’s thick and spreadable, then spread onto the base of one meringue before sandwiching on a second meringue to make a ‘snowball’ shape. You can serve them like this, or with a dusting of icing sugar on top. I’ve decorated my meringues in a few different ways to try out some festive ideas.
The first one (my favourite) was drizzled with icing and then sprinkled with edible glitter – that’s the kind of snowball that Elsa from Frozen would eat, I’m sure! I dipped the top of one snowball into the icing and then added silver balls (very nice for a New Years eve party!) and my final festive decoration was a drizzling of runny icing and a scattering of red, white and greed hundreds and thousands, which looked super-Christmassy.
Overall I was very surprised at how easy it was to make meringues, considering that I’ve avoided baking them my whole life! I think that having a stand mixer helped a lot because I didn’t need to put much effort into the whisking. Seeing as this is usually the most laborious task which is where meringues often go wrong, I was very pleased that the stress has been taken out of the process and now I can imagine making meringues all the time – I’m already thinking about what flavours I could put into my next batch! Will you try out the snowball meringue recipe for yourself this Christmas? Are you already a huge fan of baking meringues? If so, let me know what interesting flavours and decorating techniques you’ve used so that I can try them out for myself! Please leave me a comment below and tweet me a photo if you try baking this recipe for yourself 🙂