Remember this song from many, many summers ago?
Yes, a very tenuous link to today’s post subject – meringue kisses. I had to make something for after dinner. Too hot to make truffles, too lazy to make baklava. So I made meringue, piped it and dusted it with cocoa. And don’t they look sweet?
The mixture is a simple Swiss meringue – egg white and sugar, whisked over a bain marie, and then cooked in a very, very slow oven. I also added a tiny pinch of cream of tartar and a couple of drops of white wine vinegar, so the resulting cookies are crisp on the outside, but stay soft and a little chewy on the inside. And I don’t think they took more than 10 minutes to make. So not much more to say, other than here are a few more photos to admire!
To make meringue kisses (makes around 40):
• 2 egg whites (should be 60g)
• 100g caster sugar
• pinch of cream of tartar
• 2-3 drop of vinegar
• 2-3 drops vanilla extract
• Cocoa powder or cinnamon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 70°C (160°F). Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Put all the ingredients except the cocoa/cinnamon in a bowl and beat lightly. Put the bowl over a pan of just-simmering water, and beat with an electric whisk for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is white, light and fluffy – it should hold stiff peaks.
Fill a piping bag with the meringue, and pipe out the cookies(*). Dust very lightly with cocoa powder or cinnamon, if using.
Bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the cookies in the oven for another 30 minutes. (**)
(*) Use a plain nozzle. Technique is to squeeze out a dome of the meringue, stop squeezing, then pull the nozzle right up from the mixture – it should then form a little “point”
(**) If the oven is too hot, the cookies will split and bubble open. The aim is really to dry them rather than bake them – remember, you will have cooked the egg white over the double boiler.