Two kinds of meringue

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Rose and pistachio meringues and Cinnamon and almond meringues, I have mountains of them! I wasn’t planning on making any, just had a load of egg whites to use up. As it happens, we’ve a family get together later on today so I’ll take them to have with strawberries.

I’ve only ever made meringue once before, using the Swiss method given in the Ottolenghi book. Couldn’t really be bothered to do all that heating sugar and egg whites together first over a pot of simmering water so I looked up Dan Lepard’s method, which also uses a lot less sugar. I ended up using 45g sugar per egg white (less than even Dan Lepard), adding it slowly in once the egg whites had started forming soft peaks. These are best done in a proper mixer, not an electric hand held one as they do take a while to really firm up and turn glossy. I did dishes and other bits and bobs in the kitchen while making them, just going back to the mixer every now and then to tip a bit more sugar in. Used unrefined granulated sugar. For the Rose and pistachio, I added 1tsp rose water (for 4 egg whites), then took a spoonful and rolled it a bit in pistachios (pulsed in the blender first) and plonked on the baking tray lined with baking parchment. This is best done with two table spoons or a table spoon and a spatula. For the Cinnamon and almond, I added a good sprinkle of cinnamon, say half a teaspoon for 2 egg whites then sprinkled flaked almonds on top. Oven was at 100C (fan) and in they went for an hour and a half each. They are chewy in the middle, which is how I like them. If you want them to be dry in the middle, then bake for 2 hours + leave in the oven with the door open so they cool down slowly. The flavouring came from the Ottolenghi book although I didn’t follow their shaping, I really did just plonk them on the tray. I kind of like the slightly off shapes, they look more fun this way and they are very good – had half a rose and pistachio one with ice cream last night, just perfect dessert for this kind of weather.

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