4 June 2020

Failed Meringues


Following my lovely fruit basked cake for my birthday, I had 4 egg whites to be used up. Originally I planned to make them into marshmallow, but some research resulted in the realisation that marshmallows do not contain egg whites at all. So the next thing to do is meringues and I had a vague idea of trying to make them flavoured. I had some lovely orange flavouring and yellow food colour that should have done the trick.

As it turned out, they didn't. I made the Swiss meringue, following a recipe from LenĂ´tre's book and I strongly suspect the orange flavouring is what did it. It looked quite oily and probably contributed to the collapse of the egg whites. So I urgently started searching for what to do when a meringue mixture just doesn't happen and came across this, which I used as inspiration, in particular the Chewy Almond Macaroons recipe.


4 large egg whites
250 g granulated sugar
1 tsp orange flavouring
yellow food colour
2 dl sesame seeds
2 dl plain flour
1 tsp baking powder


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C (not fan).
  2. Place the egg whites and the sugar in a glass bowl and place this bowl over a saucepan with gently simmering water. The water must not touch the bottom of the glass bowl.
  3. Whip the mixture over the water bath until it reaches 50 °C.
  4. Remove from the heat and continue to beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, then lower the speed and beat for a further 5 minutes until the mixture is very stiff.
  5. Towards the end add the flavouring and the food colour and watch the mixture deflate and go runny.
  6. Fold in the sesame seeds, then sift in and fold the flour and baking powder.
  7. Line a couple of baking sheets with baking paper, then pipe small blobs onto it.
  8. Bake until the biscuits puff up and just begin to get a colour on top.
  9. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool down completely.

What I learned in addition from this exercise is that just using sesame seeds is way too intensive a flavour. This was surprising, because whenever a recipe uses sesame as a spice, I barely notice it and always thing there should be more, but in this case it was way too much, so mixing with sunflower seeds or using ground or finely chopped nuts might be better. The combination with the orange wasn't super, but not too bad either.

Lundulph quite happily ate the lot, I filled up a biscuit tin and put next to his desk and they did go over the following few days. His suggestion was that they should be covered in dark chocolate, so I might try that next time my meringues fail.

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