18 December 2011

{How to} Make a meringue tower

Today I'll share with you how I made the meringue "tree" for my Hansel and Gretel Christmas table.



First up: make the meringues.

Ingredients
140gr egg whites (you'll need about 4 medium eggs)
120gr caster sugar
120g icing sugar
Flavouring: a few drops of vanilla or almond extract

Beat the egg white at medium speed (Kitchen Aid speed 4) for 3 minutes
Add half of the sugars and any flavouring and beat for a couple of minutes at a slightly higher speed (Kitchen Aid speed 6).
Add the rest of the sugars and keep beating for a further 5 minutes.
Finish by beating for 3 minutes at full speed (Kitchen Aid speed 10).



Pipe the desired shapes on a baking tray. I used a big star tip.
The colour effect is achieved by painting stripes of gel food colouring inside the piping bag before filling it with the meringue. More info and pictures here.

Dry/cook small meringues for 1 hour 15 minutes at 110° C (fan oven) followed by 1 hour 30 minutes at 100° C.

Preparing the tower

You will need a polystyrene cone, some foil paper and royal icing.



In order to make the cone food safe, you will need to completely cover it with foil. Wrap and secure with a little bit of icing. This also keeps the cone clean so you can use it again.
Spread royal icing and completely cover the cone so that no foil will show in between the meringues. Leave to dry overnight.
The following day, use a little bit of royal icing on the back of each meringue to "glue" on the cone, starting at the bottom.

Tip: Choose which side is going to be the front and make a little mark to identify it. Keep all the best looking meringues of a similar size for the front and use the slightly misshaped ones for the back. Also you might need to use some smaller ones (or cut some big ones in half) to fill the gaps, this should be "hidden" at the back.

That's it, the tower is done. You can use this technique for any shape, you could easily do a topiary.


Linking to Sunday Scoop link party @ I heart Naptime

9 comments :

  1. Once you have stuck the meringue on the cone with royal icing, is it easy to pull them off after to eat?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi
    If you glue them using only a little spot of royal icing at the back then you should be able to pull them off easily. Meringues are so light that you really only need a little "glue" for them to hold.
    Hope this helps

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for replying - your tree looks amazing!! I want to try and make one for a friend. One other question i have and that is to make the stripes, do you use a gel pen or a paintbrush and how do you put the meringue in the bag without 'smudging' the stripes? Thanks again for replying x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi
    to apply the lines of colour inside the piping bag I use a cocktail stick or a small paintbrush. My lines usually only come about a third of the way up the bag.

    The best way for me to fill a piping bag is to use a tall glass. Not easy to describe with words so I have found some pictures for you here:
    http://www.whippedbakeshop.com/blog/2011/01/how-to-fill-a-piping-bag-with-icing

    Once your bag is in the glass, apply the colour first and just pour your icing in. I did not get any smudging when doing it this way.

    Let me know how you get on.

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanks so much - watch this space, i'll keep you posted x

    ReplyDelete
  6. OK - Ive done it and would love to send you a picture for your opinion but dont know how to attach it and i havent got your email. My only problem is that i had to make different size meringues as the further up the cone i went, the smaller they had to be. Yours look like one size. Can i ask please how big your cone was? Also my meringues cracked in places. How do you get yours so perfect (recipe would be lovely or am i pushing it too far!!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi
    I used slightly smaller meringues at the top but yes they were more or less the same size so I "cheated" at the back and had to cut a few meringues in half to fit the gaps.
    The meringue at the very top is facing forward so the view from the front is nice.

    The recipe is in this post, it is my mum's recipe and works really well. Some meringues have cracked (look closely at the picture) but I tried to put them at the back or with the crack facing down so it would get less noticed... It is all about the view ! nobody is going to lie on the floor to see if it looks good from underneath too !!!

    My cone is 28cm high.

    Let me sort something out with the blog so you can send me your picture.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi
    I have just created a Flickr group where you will be able to share you pics
    Please post your pictures there, I would love to see you creation
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/1879406@N24/

    ReplyDelete
  9. It is so amazing, You did such a great job. I have read your article and really inspired from your meringue tower. After reading your article I am also making similar types of meringue tower so I have purchased polystyrene bead from this website: http://ecclestons.com/expanded-polystyrene-bead.htm

    ReplyDelete

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