I used to make these in the 1980’s – and hadn’t made them since. However, going through the Rolodex of my mind, for Cakeyboi purposes, I remembered these. They are very, very simple and fast to make and are almost a bit like kitchen alchemy, so a great one for the kids to try during the holidays.
As an annoying Food Network presenter would say, 'the essential tool you need for this recipe is a microwave oven'. I’m sure most of you do have one, so let’s begin!
In my picture, you will see I coloured my meringues, but this was for nothing but aesthetic purposes and you can leave them white, or just colour them once – not like the 6 batches I made!!
All you need are egg whites and lots of icing sugar. The rule of thumb is 15grams of egg white to 150grams of icing sugar. I also experimented with adding flavourings, but lets walk before we can run!
Place your egg white(s) into a large bowl – DO NOT WHISK. That’s right – no whisking involved. Just slowly add the icing sugar (and colouring if so inclined) to the egg white until you get a stiff, playdough like substance. It should be malleable so that you can work it into small balls. Give it a good knead to get it smooth.
Place a square of baking paper onto the glass plate of your microwave and begin pinching balls of the sugar dough (try different sizes, but 10 gram balls work well) and roll them between your hands. Place 4 balls well apart on the paper (not in the middle) and zap for around 40 seconds in an 800watt oven. Times vary going by the size of the oven.
These balls will puff up before your eyes into light meringues. Place them on a cooling rack, as the bottoms are very hot.
Now, they don’t have the same texture as ‘normal’ meringues, they are lighter and crumblier, but are good for loading with whipped cream for example or just eating on their own. You could even crumble them into an Eton Mess, or sprinkle over Ice Cream.
Like I said, I added a drizzle of strawberry kiwi flavouring to mine, but this will affect how much icing sugar you need to use, to get the same consistency. Likewise with the food colourings ( I used paste, not liquid). But really, these are something, which is fun for kids to try, not always perfect, and may need tweaking depending on your microwave. And be warned, a small amount of dough makes a LOT!!!
Go on, get creative and enjoy!