With Simon Holst
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Makes: 30 meringues
Cost per serve: $0.30
Meringues are delicious and have many uses, from simply being sandwiched together with cream to being used in other desserts. We prefer home-made meringues to the bought variety, which never seem to have quite the same texture and flavour.
2 large (size 7) egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vinegar, preferably light coloured
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup (65ml) boiling water
Heat oven to 150C (130C fanbake) with the rack just below the middle.
Line two large baking trays with a Teflon liner or baking paper (use a few drops of water or small dabs of mixture to stick it down and prevent curling up).
Measure all the ingredients (in the order given), into the bowl of an electric beater (the mixture will look watery and unlikely, but it does work!).
Stand the bowl inside a larger container (or the sink) filled with hot water.
On highest speed, beat until the mixture is smooth, stiff and piled high (in warm weather we find the bowl of hot water is often unnecessary. If the mixture does not become white and fluffy after a few minutes beating though, stand the bowl in hot water, as suggested above).
Shape the mixture into 40-60 small meringues using two teaspoons, a forcer bag with a star nozzle, or a thick plastic bag with the corner cut out.
Bake for about an hour or until dried through.
To check whether they are cooked, lift one off the paper, leave it to cool for a minute, then break it.
It is cooked if the meringue is dry all the way through, without a sticky centre.
Cool the cooked meringues on a rack until cold, then store in airtight containers (zip-lock plastic bags work well).
(Broadcast 8 October 2012)