I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling totally Christmassy, and miraculously have a little bit of time on my hands. Normally, this time of year, I’m super stressed and don’t even have time to wrap my gifts or pack my suitcase. But all is good this year – plenty of time left to wrap, bake, and chill out. For this reason, I decided to make these festive almond meringues for friends and family. Wrap them up in a cellophane bag, and they’re just a lovely little gift during the holiday season. You can change up the colourings or flavourings easily – these would be really nice with peppermint flavouring too. Almond just feels very festive to me, though, so I went for almond.
Don’t they just look happy and festive, like little Christmas dreams? They’ll just cheer you right up. Let’s make them.
First off, preheat your oven to 140 degrees Celsius, and line some baking trays with parchment paper.
Prepare a piping bag, and set it up right in a tall glass or vessel. Using a clean paintbrush, paint stripes of red food colouring along the inside of the piping bag.
See? Like this.
Weigh out your egg whites, and pour into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Another mixer will do as well, but I’d recommend an electric one, rather than just your arm and a whisk!
Keep your sugar at the ready, and start whipping your egg whites on a medium-high speed.
Whip for about 5 to 8 minutes, until it holds a soft peak. Voila – a soft peak! At this stage, you can keep the mixer on a medium-high speed and start adding your sugar tablespoon by tablespoon, until you’ve used up all of your sugar, and you have a nice, thick, glossy meringue that holds a stiff peak.
Just imagine this is a stiff peak, and not a dribble – however, you can see how firm the meringue is, so we’re done!
Using a spatula, mix in your flavourings – in this case, vanilla and almond essence. Gently mix in. Pour the meringue into your piping bag, and start piping onto your prepared baking trays. Aim for little swirls about 6 centimetres wide.
Place you trays in the pre-heated oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 140 degrees Celsius – then turn down to 120 degrees Celsius for the final 30 minutes. Once they finish baking, turn off the heat and crack the oven door, but leave the meringues inside the oven, to dry out fully.
And here is the baked end product! Aren’t they pretty?
Store them air-tight in a tin, and they will keep for up to a week.
- 250 grams egg whites
- 350 grams caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp almond
- red food colouring
- Preheat your oven to 140 degrees celsius, and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- Prepare a piping bag, fitting a piping nozzle. Paint the inside of the piping bag with striped of undiluted red food colouring. Set piping bag upright in a tall glass.
- Wipe the inside of your clean mixing bowl and your whipping attachment with a piece of kitchen roll with some vinegar. This will ensure there are no traces of grease, which will ruin your meringue.
- Pour the egg whites into your mixing bowl, and mix until they hold soft peaks, about 5-8 minutes.
- Begin adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time - still whisking - until you have a thick and shiny meringue that holds a stiff peak, about 5-8 minutes.
- Gently fold in the almond and vanilla extract until fully mixed through.
- Pipe your meringues onto the baking tray. Bake the meringues for 1 hour. Turn the heat down to 120 degrees the final 30 minutes. Once they finish baking, turn off the heat and crack the oven door, but leave the meringues inside the oven, to dry out fully.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week.