5 April 2010
My Mum told me about this a couple of weeks ago and sent me the instructions on how to make little chicks out of meringue.
As per usual, I didn't follow the instructions on the meringue itself, but made the one I normally make. Unfortunately I over-cooked it ever so slightly, which is why the white chicks look the way they do. Adding yellow food colouring kind of sorted things out a bit and I also set aside a little and coloured red for their crests.
For beaks, I used two small pine seeds and the eyes were made with melted dark chocolate.
The way they are done is to first pipe a larger ball of meringue (so the mixture needs to be pretty firm). Mine were about the size of a walnut. Then on top of that, a second meringue ball is carefully piped, which forms the head. Generally the top of this second meringue ball will form a little crest, so can be left as is, or add on a red crest with a flat nozzle.
Finally stick two pine seeds in as a beak and then bake as normal, but for an hour and a half or even longer, if the meringues are still sticking to the baking sheets, then leave in the oven after switching it off, overnight is good and will get them nicely dried out. The reason for the longer baking is that they will end up bigger and taller.
Some 10 minutes into the baking, when the meringues have just started to dry out, using a wet sharp knife, cut into the main chick body to shape wings and spread out a little. I waited too long for this - 15 minutes and so the meringues were too dry and cracked badly, so after trying on a couple of chicks, I decide to leave it and let them complete baking without wings.
Once they are done and cooled down, melt a little dark chocolate and dot eyes on them, then place in airtight containers, so they don't go soggy.
I'd made these especially for my two nieces and sadly completely forgot about them yesterday. So maybe I can make new ones with them next time we meet.