Candice Brown’s Red White and Blue Meringues
Indulgent, mini meringues flavoured with blueberry and topped with sprinkles from Candice Brown's Comfort.
Unlike the giant Pavlova these are the perfect size to pop straight in your mouth in one go and generally this is what tends to happen! You can vary the size and shape with the help of some creative piping nozzles, to create toppings for cakes, cupcakes or just more sweet treats! The meringues are great to package up as gifts but not with cream or jam/ curd in the middle as this will make them go soft quite quickly.
|½||lemon, to wipe bowl and whisk|
|red and blue food colouring gel|
|blueberry jam, preferably home-made|
|mango curd or ready-made passion fruit curd|
|sprinkles (e.g. finely chopped nuts, hundreds and thousands, mini chocolate stars)|
You will need: a freestanding electric mixer and piping bags
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan (180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4).
Spread out the caster sugar on a baking tray and heat in the oven for about 10 minutes until the sugar starts to melt around the edges.
Meanwhile, use the lemon half to rub the inside of the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Wipe the whisk with lemon too. This will remove any grease. Put the egg whites into the bowl and whisk on a medium speed until fluffy with firm peaks.
Remove the hot sugar from the oven and reduce the temperature to 100°C fan (120°C/250°F/Gas Mark ½). Slowly add the hot sugar to the egg whites, a spoonful at a time, whisking all the while on a medium speed. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, continue whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Add the icing sugar a spoonful at a time while whisking.
Check for stiffness by lifting out the whisk – the meringue on it should hold high pointy peaks (or, if you are feeling brave, lift the bowl up and turn it upside down – the meringue should not fall out).
Fit three piping bags with nozzles of your choice – I like to use a large round one or a flower nozzle. Paint a stripe of blue food colouring gel on the inside of one piping bag and a stripe of red gel inside the second bag (or use colours of your choice); leave the third bag bare. Divide the meringue equally between the piping bags.
Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper – stick the paper in place with a smudge of meringue. Pipe out small rounds or flowers in red, white and blue. Feel free to make different shapes for each colour. You’ll need an even number of meringues.
Dry out the meringues in the oven for about 2 hours until crisp on the outside. Then turn the oven off and leave the meringues inside to cool – you can speed this up by propping open the oven door with a wooden spoon.
Once the meringues are cool, whip the double cream until stiff and smooth. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice. Pipe some cream on the base of a meringue and add a little jam or curd, then press the base of another meringue on to this. Sprinkle what you like around the edge so it sticks to the cream, or leave the meringues plain.
If you’re not filling with jam/curd and cream, you can dip the base of each meringue in melted chocolate.
Note: Create your own colours on a small plate before brushing into the piping bag. The gel colours are very concentrated so you need only a very small amount – otherwise the meringues may be quite psychedelic!!!