There are three types of meringue: French, Italian and Swiss. French is made by whisking egg white and sugar at room temperature; for Italian, hot sugar syrup is whisked into the egg white; and for Swiss, the mixture is whisked over a gentle heat to dissolve the sugar. We’ve chosen Swiss because it has a firmer texture than the others, suited to individual meringues. It’s also good for creating shapes if you have fancy piping nozzles. The most important things to remember are to use very fresh eggs and a super-clean bowl.
- 4 large egg whites
- 250g caster sugar
- ½ tsp coffee essence
- Seeds of ½ vanilla pod
- 1 tsp rosewater
- A few drops of natural pink food colouring
- 3 cardamom pods, seeds ground
- 1 tbsp pistachios, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 110C/gas ¼. Bring a pan of water to the boil and place a scrupulously clean bowl over it. Add the egg whites and whisk until lightly frothy, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the caster sugar in four batches, not whisking in the next batch until the mixture has reached stiff peaks and is glossy.
- Remove the bowl from the pan and keep whisking until the mixture cools down and the outside of the bowl is cool, about 10 minutes. The meringue should now be beautifully shiny.
- Divide the meringue between four bowls. Fold the coffee essence through one and the vanilla seeds through another. Fold the rosewater and pink dye through the third mixture, then fold the cardamom seeds and half the chopped pistachios through the last batch.
- Dollop onto a baking tray, topping the cardamom meringues with the remaining pistachios, and bake for 1½–2 hours. They are ready when they can be peeled off the baking tray easily and without breaking. Serve with whipped cream.
Per serving 142 cals, 0.7g fat (0.1g saturated), 2.1g protein, 31.9g carbs, 31.6g sugars
Recipe & styling: Laura Fyfe; Photography: Sam Stowell