- Heat the oven to 110 degrees Celsius. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pour the egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat at medium speed with an electric hand whisk. Beat till the mixture attains a fluffy cloud-like appearance.
- Lift the blades of the hand whisk and check for the formation of stiff peaks. Increase the speed and add castor sugar gradually. Beat for 3-4 seconds. Add the sugar slowly as this will prevent the meringue from weeping. Make sure you do not over-beat. The mixture should become glossy and thick.
- Sift 1/3 of the icing sugar over the mixture and fold gently with a rubber spatula. Sift the sugar and fold again. The mixture should look smooth and billowy. Take 2 dessert spoons and scoop up the mixture between these and spread on the baking sheet making an oval shape. You could make them round if you so wish.
- Bake for 1 1/4 hours in a conventional oven. The meringues should sound crisp if tapped from beneath and are pale coffee in color. Allow it to cool on a cooling rack. The meringues can be stored in an airtight tin for approx 15 days. They can be served with generous amounts of whipped cream for an unparalleled taste and flavor.
It is recommended to not use fresh eggs but procure old eggs instead when making meringue. Take care to not overbeat— once you’ve attained the desired peak, stop beating.
Meringue is believed to have been invented in the Swiss village of Meiringen. There have been various theories as far as the origin of the delicacy goes. Some versions state that Gasparini, an Italian chef modified and improved the original recipe. The name “meringue” first appeared in the cookbook by François Massialot in 1692. Interestingly, weather plays an important role in the recipe and it is advised to prepare it when the weather is dry. Humid climates are best avoided!