Neville’s Vanilla-Meringues

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‘What about you, Neville?’ said Ron. ‘Well, my gran brought me up and she’s a witch,’ said Neville, ‘but the family thought I was all Muggle for ages. My great-uncle Algie kept trying to catch me off my guard and force some magic out of me – he pushed me off the end of Blackpool pier once, I nearly drowned – but nothing happened until I was eight. Great-uncle Algie came round for tea and he was banging me out of an upstairs window by the ankles when my great-auntie Enid offered him a meringue and he accidentally let go. But I bounced – all the way down the garden and into the road. They were all really pleased. Gran was crying, she was so happy. And you should have seen their faces when I got in here – they thought I might not be magic enough to come, you see. Great-uncle Algie was so pleased he bought me my toad.’ – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, p. 93.

Even though the risk of being accidentally dropped out of the window by your great-uncle due to a meringue seems very limited in our world, many bakers are still afraid of them. Some people chuck their left-over egg-whites away because they think that they couldn’t bake the meringues anyway.

And indeed, they can be tricky if you’re baking them on a very humid day or using a recipe which doesn’t work well. I was always very lucky with my meringues, though. This is, of course, thanks to this recipe I’m sharing with you today. To proove how easy it is, here a picture of my very first meringues (over a year ago):SONY DSCNot bad for a first try, don’t you think? The recipe I’m suggesting uses a bain-marie to heat up the egg-whites-sugar-mixture before baking. I’ve tried another recipe once, but that recipe didn’t work for me at that time.

With this one, however, I didn’t have a single batch of meringues that was damp or lumpy, they were always wonderfully light and crisp, though still nicely soft inside. A last important advice concerns the storing: I suggest an air-tight box, in which you can keep them without problems for a week or more – if they aren’t eaten beforehand… 😉

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Neville‘s Vanilla-Meringues

Preparation time: 20 min
Baking time: 50-60 min
Yield: 30-50 meringues (depending on how big you pipe them)

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 215 g sugar
  • ½-1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ TL fresh lemon juice
  • if you like: sugar pearls to decorate

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 130°C.
  2. Put egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice into a heat-resistant bowl. Prepare a bain-marie: put the bowl onto the pot with boiling water.SONY DSC
  3. Whisk with the electric whisk until the mixture has reached a temperature of about 55-60°C (use a candy thermometer).
  4. Take the bowl out of the bain-marie and continue to whisk until the mixture has cooled down to room temperature again. (It should now be very thick and easy to form.)SONY DSC
  5. Put the mixture into a piping bag and, using a nozzle of your choice, pit meringues onto a baking sheet (covered with baking parchment). If you like, decorate the meringues with sugar pearls. Bake in the oven at 130°C for 50-60 minutes.SONY DSC (If you wish to pipe very small or big meringues, you’ll have to adapt the baking time accordingly.)
  6. Take them out of the oven and wait until the meringues have cooled down completely. Then, store them in an airtight container.

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf. (Both English and German versions available!)

Neville’s Vanilla-Meringues

Nevilles Vanille-Meringues

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