Funky Fairtrade sugar meringues

Meringues

This week I chose Fairtrade sugar as my main ingredient (hence the sugar post a few  days ago) and it was partly because I caught a few minutes of a Paul Hollywood (baking god in the UK) programme where he introduced the ‘Meringue Girls’, who are (very successfully), making meringues ‘cool’ and becoming quite famous in the UK… here is a link to their website: http://www.meringuegirls.co.uk/the-meringues

Anyway, what really struck me, was their technique to colour the inside of the piping bag in order to create the most beautiful coloured meringues… and so I decided to give it a go… here goes my experiment:

Ingredients:
– 3 egg whites
– 175 grs. of Fairtrade caster sugar
– pink and purple food colouring gel
(cream and berries optional!)

Method:

1) Heat the sugar under the grill until it is just about to start melting (starts to turn slightly brown). This is also part of the Meringue Girl’s technique.

2) Beat the eggs (in a clean and dry bowl) until partly stiff.

3) Add the sugar, a spoonful at the time, and beat again until very stiff.

4) Prepare your piping bag, by turning it inside out and colouring lines with a small paint brush (I used pink and purple food colouring gel)

5) Insert the beaten egg-whites and start piping!

6) Bake in the oven at 120C for 1 1/2 hrs, until they can be lifted easily from the bottom without sticking. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and leave them in there until cold.  Enjoy!

The verdict:
Well, they were actually quite easy and fun to make… and they offer so many ‘funky’ possibilities (no wonder the ‘meringue girls’ are doing so well) and certainly deliver on the ‘Wow factor’… but, for me, the problem is that meringues are simply too sweet…. and after 1-2 small  bites, I just didn’t want any more…
In the summer we often have them with Greek yogurt and fresh berries… and that works well… so perhaps I will try them again then… but I don’t think they delivered what I was hoping for in terms of a winter dessert!

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