Saturday, 10 December 2011

Gluten Free, Nut Free: Salted Caramel Meringue Kisses

These are the first meringues I've ever made, and quite frankly they are a doddle. If you've a working electric whisk then half the battle is won. Dinky, sweet and tasty, they make great presents to give for Christmas. I've frozen them, unfilled, to defrost on Christmas Eve and then spread with salted caramel or lemon curd. The great thing about these meringues for anyone with allergies is that they're naturally flour and nut free. If you'd like to make them dairy free too then you could replace the salted caramel with raspberry jam.

Adapted from the meringue recipe by Joanne Wheatley on the BBC Food Website. See her recipe here

Makes about 40 mini meringues, so 20 filled kisses

3 egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon juice
150g caster sugar

1. Turn the oven low, to 110C (90C fan ovens).

2. Line baking sheets or trays with non stick baking paper (you may need to do this in shifts if you only have one baking sheet or tray). Lightly brush the baking paper with vegetable oil.

3. Whisk the egg whites and lemon juice in a large bowl until they form stiff peaks.

4. Next add one third of the caster sugar, and whisk again until smooth and glossy.

5. Fold in the rest of the sugar.

6. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a small fluted or plain round nozzle, and pipe small rounds onto the baking paper, allowing space between each one.

7. Bake in the oven for approx 2 hours, then take out and leave to cool totally on a wire rack.

8. Store in an airtight container until needed, or wrap carefully in clingfilm and freeze in freezer bags, removing from the freezer 2 hours before filling and serving.

For the kiss filling: 
shop bought jar of salted caramel

9. To serve, spread the flat side of half the meringues with about a teaspoon of salted caramel, then sandwich together. If you prefer you could spread them with lemon curd and whipped cream instead.

10. To give these meringue kisses as presents, present them in mini cupcake cases, in pretty boxes or bags.

These meringue kisses were idly baked to the soundtrack of the film Broken Flowers.

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