Soggy Bottoms

It seems I need to work on my meringues. I’m not sure whether its the oven temperature, or my whisking techniques, but they always seem to end up oozing, sticking, and generally having soggy bottoms.

I had an idea in my head yesterday of large, piped meringues, lightly dusted with chocolate, huge and fluffy, crisp shells. I also needed an excuse to try out the pink pearlescent food paint I got from the shops recently.

This morning I tried out a “fool proof” recipe, used parchment paper instead of grease proof paper, made sure the oven was warmed to the right temperature, then began the process.

Whisking the 4 egg whites until it looks like a fluffy stiff peaked cloud, turning up the speed and adding the 115g of caster sugar, desert spoon full at a time, counting to 4 between each addition, then gently, very gently folding in the 115g of icing sugar. It looked smooth just like a snow drift.

I piped them onto the parchment, put them in the oven, set the time for exactly one and a half hours.

That’s when the magic happened, that’s when they grew their own ideas, and decided to follow their ancestors and ooze sweet sugar liquid, meld themselves onto the parchment, dance too close to the flames and get browner than they should.

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I tried teasing them off the paper, they became stubborn, I tried persuading them, teasing, them, resorted to forcefully using a palette knife to get them off the paper. The larger ones were more willing, they got the reward of being lightly dusted with Cadbury drinking chocolate. The smaller ones were lightly brushed with pink food paint.

Now, what to do with the left over egg yolks?