These delectable pastel treats aren’t only lovely to look at, but simple to make – perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat for a special someone! Bitesize pieces of light meringue, sandwiched together with chocolate ganache.
These are possibly the prettiest treats I’ve made, nothing quite like a bit of pastel in the dead of winter! One word of warning – meringues and humidity are not a good mix (turns out this actually affects the taste quite a lot), so try and avoid making them on rainy days.
So, here goes. To make approx. 60 meringues, you’ll need:
- 100g egg whites (approx. 3 eggs) – I used Two Chicks egg whites (these are brilliant, no egg wastage!)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 100g caster sugar
For chocolate ganache:
- 60ml double cream
- 60g chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 80 degrees – baking it on a low heat will prevent the meringues browning and helps dry them out. Prepare trays lined with parchment paper (prevents meringue sticking when baked).
1. In a metal or glass bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt at a high speed until foamy. It’s best not to use a plastic bowl as it’s usually retains a layer of grease no matter how much you wash it.
2. Add the vanilla extract, whisk, then add the cream of tartar and continue whisking. Slowly add the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiff and glossy – if it’s not stiff enough, the meringues will not hold their shape when you pipe them out.
3. Once ready, separate the mixture into separate bowls and add your food colour (I used Wilton food gels). Fold into the mix, to prevent to much air from escaping. Stick with pastel colours as darker colours will need more colouring, which can affect the meringue’s consistency.
4. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and choose a nozzle. For reference, I went with a standard round nozzle for the purple meringues. I used the Wilton 1M for the green and a standard star nozzle for the pink. I did find that I should have whisked my egg whites a little longer as the shape for the pink meringues didn’t hold itself as well.
5. Pipe away, make sure they’re roughly 2cm in size and approximately the same size across the board, as they’ll need to bake evenly. Bake in the oven for approx. 2.5 hours, or until they’re crisp and dry to touch.
6. For the chocolate ganache – warm up double cream in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips, stirring in until melted. Leave to cool, it will be runny at first but will turn into piping consistency once it’s cooled properly. If you find it’s still too runny, add more chocolate chips. Sandwich two meringues together and serve!
See? Simple! It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make, more that it just takes time – but you can leave them in the oven and they should be just fine as long as the temperature isn’t too high. These keep well in airtight containers and could make perfect little gifts wrapped up in cellophane. Great for all sorts of occasions as well as Valentine’s Day – just colour the meringues accordingly!