Brown Sugar and Walnut Meringues

04Apr08

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Meringues can be tricky things to make but it’s not as hard as it may seem. I’ve had friends call me in despair when their meringues have failed dismally (yes you Susie!) and when I posted these little mocha babies, I received quite a few emails and comments asking me for help on how to make them. Now I’m no expert on meringues, but I thought I’d write a short post with a few tips and tricks I’ve learnt over the years.

Here we go:

  • Don’t use egg whites straight from the fridge. Egg whites should always be at room temperature as they are easier to whisk and more air can be incorporated.
  • As a general rule, for one eggwhite, use the same amount of sugar as the weight of the egg. So, for a 60g egg, use 60g of sugar.
  • The bowl in which you want to use to whip your egg whites must be spotlessly clean. It’s best to use a bowl made from either stainless steel, ceramic, glass or copper as plastic bowls can sometimes contain traces of fat and grease. Your utensils (i.e. spatula, beaters, whisk) should be spotlessly clean too.
  • When adding the sugar to the egg whites, add it a tablespoon at a time whisking well in between each addition. After all the sugar is incorporated, whisk for around 3 minutes or until the mixture is super shiny, glossy and lusciously thick. At this stage the sugar should be completely dissolved. You can rub a little bit between your thumb and forefinger to check.

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  • Be careful not to overbeat the meringues as they will collapse whilst cooking and sugar droplets will form on the surface.
  • Perfect meringues can be made using just egg whites and sugar, but it’s always nice to have a little help. The addition of cornflour helps to produce a chewy interior and the addition of white vinegar, or any other acid like lemon juice, helps to stabilise the egg whites.
  • Baking time depends entirely on their size obviously, but for a general rule of thumb, bake them until they are crisp to touch. For smallish ones around 5cm in diameter, this should take around 30 minutes. For a really big pavlova, it will be around an hour and 15 minutes. Once the meringues are baked, allow them to cool in the switched-off oven until completely cold.
  • As meringue mix is so light, I find that when I’m spooning or piping the mix onto the paper-lined trays, it tends to slide about and I can’t pipe properly. Quick fix: dab a little bit of sticky meringue mix onto each corner of the baking paper and affix it onto your tray. Instant glue!

Hopefully what I’ve shared with you can help if you have trouble making meringues. It just takes a little patience, care and remember the motto I follow, “go slow and low”. Always add the sugar slowly and bake them at a low temperature :)

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Brown Sugar and Walnut Meringues

Adapted from a recipe found in Australian Women’s Weekly, April 2008.

4 egg whites

240g light brown sugar

1 cup (100g) walnuts, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cornflour

½ teaspoon white vinegar

  1. Preheat the oven to 120°C (100°C if fan forced). Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl with an electric mixer or freestanding mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until sugar well in between additions. Whisk for another 3 minutes until the mix is satiny shiny and thick.
  3. Gently fold through ¾ cup of the walnuts, cornflour and vinegar.
  4. Using a piping bag with a large plain nozzle, pipe the meringue mixture into small rounds approximately 5cm in diameter, around 3 centimetres apart, on the prepared trays. Sprinkle the tops of the meringues with the remaining walnuts.
  5. Bake for around 25 minutes or until they are crisp to touch. Turn off the oven and allow to cool completely with the door slightly ajar for several hours until completely cold.

Makes around 40.

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22 Responses to “Brown Sugar and Walnut Meringues”

  1. 1 Lisa

    Linda, you have to stop reading my mind! I was thinking about making brown sugar meringue nests this weekend because I’ve accumulated an insane amount of egg whites. Thanks for all the tips and tricks, now I think I know why my last pavlova was disastrous !

  2. 2 Celine

    Stunning photography! I always get thrown off when I visit your site thinking I reached my own, since we chose the same layout. :D

  3. They look absolutely perfect, Linda. So beautiful!
    And thank you for the precious hints – I have never tried making meringues myself.

  4. Those are gorgeous meringues!

  5. 5 Nevis

    Ooo…these look delicious!

  6. 6 Mr.Z

    People!

    These babies are absolutely amazing – if you make anything from this site, please make these… they are to die for!!!

  7. 7 Linda

    Lisa – haha, hope you’re not planning to make ice-cream soon because I am! If you do make meringues, hope they turn out great.

    Celine – thanks! I’m thinking of moving over to WordPress.org soon and getting a new layout. You won’t get confused then :)

    Patricia – thank you! Do try and make them, meringues are the best! And if you can’t eat them all or get sick of them, just smoosh it all up with fruit and cream. Yum!

    Deborah and Nevis – thanks!

    Mr. Z – well, well, well! Hello baby! I’m glad you’re visiting my blog and promoting my baked goods, lol. You’re the luckiest commenter out of them all… you get to eat everything! x

  8. I just stumbled upon your mocha meringues and came back to your site and now I see your brown sugar walnut meringues. They both look amazing and I can’t wait to give them a try!

  9. 9 gizmar

    I’m so glad I found your blog and this entry – macaroons are my nemesis – I have yet to produce a batch that’s even taste worthy and I think I just figured out why. I don’t think I’ll be a macaroon loser anymore :)

  10. Gorgeous meringues. I have never tried to make them I suppose I am turn off by their stark whiteness. These look rather appetizing though. They look like the have flavor. Beautiful photography! Maybe you should do a list of tips for that as well!

  11. Christine – look out for more meringue recipes. I’m getting obsessed with them :)

    Gizmar – just takes practice! :)

    Gretchen – if you’re not a fan of the whiteness, add food colouring :) Thank you for your lovely comments about my photos. There are blogs with much better photography and tips out there :)

  12. I adore your meringues! And the photos look precious! Great tips too! You’re a pro. I was thinking of making meringues just last week. This post is just the inspiration I need to get in the kitchen and whip some up. Thanks!

  13. 13 Gigi

    I made the mocha meringues and they were a hit! Thank you so much for the tips and a new meringue recipe.

  14. I love the first photo! So cute!

  15. *faints* actually I was planning to make ice cream soon as an accompaniment to a dessert, but maybe I should start using the egg whites I have before I add more to the stash in the freezer!

  16. I am still dreamin of your mocha meringue, they were gorgeous but these look fantastic also!

  17. 17 giz

    I could easily be your friend Suzie – I have yet to create a macaroon that doesn’t fall flat – I just don’t seem to have the magic touch.

  18. Joy – thanks! I’m no pro, let’s get that straight. I’m just a gal who likes her eggwhites and sugar :)

    Gigi – I’m so happy you made the mocha meringues! I love it when I receive feedback from people who use the recipes I upload. Look out for more meringue recipes soon!

    Chriesi – cheers! :)

    Lisa – I have a solution: meringue nests with a huge scoop of homemade ice-cream in the middle, drizzled with some kind of wicked sauce. Yeah baby! :p

    Tartelette – thank you!

    Giz – I found out using a freestanding mixer helped a lot. Email me if you need some one-on-one tuition :)

  19. Yum! I hope I have the time to try out some recipes soon! :)

  20. 20 wintermute

    Many thanks! I tried your recipe and these tasted really good – except that it took 2 hours at 120 C for them to turn firm to the touch. Also, after cooling the centers turned out crisp rather than chewy – any advice for a complete amateur’s next attempt? :)

  21. It’s always nice to have a new recipe which calls for brown sugar, and these look great! Thank you!

    Cindy
    http://www.jbkpottery.com

  22. 22 karen

    these look great!!! my mom knows how to make russian meringue cookies!!!! they are great!!!!!!! :D


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