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I met the gorgeous Meringue Girls on board the fabulous Silver Sturgeon boat moored at the Savoy Pier on the River Thames last week. You can hire the boat for all kinds of dos, from weddings to posh corporate functions, and I for one can't imagine anything better than cruising down the river, Sipsmith gin cocktail in hand, tucking into food provided by Jamie Oliver's Fabulous Feasts, the on-board catering company.
Alex and Stacey combine their creative cooking and marketing flair to supply the prettiest meringues for parties and celebrity events – see the evidence below. Here are their top tips on creating perfect meringue treats, and a rather special pavlova recipe.
1. Our egg white-to-sugar ratio is very easy to remember – it's double the amount of sugar to egg whites. A medium egg white weighs 30g, so use 60g of caster sugar per egg white.
2. The biggest mistake with meringue making is adding the sugar before the egg whites are totally stiff. If you add sugar too early, your meringues will never reach the stiff consistency you want.
3. We use caster sugar for most of our meringues, as the fine grain dissolves in the mixture very quickly. We also heat the sugar in the oven first so that it dissolves even more quickly, giving a smooth and glossy mixture. If the sugar hasn't been allowed to dissolve and the mixture is grainy when it goes into the oven, the meringues will often leak sugar syrup during baking.
4. We use Two Chicks free-range liquid egg whites to avoid hundreds of yolks swimming in our fridge!
Raspberry pavlova? Lemon meringue pie? Share your favourite meringue recipes in the comments box below.
PISTACHIO AND ROSEWATER PAVLOVA WITH GREEK YOGURT, HONEY AND FIGS
The undecorated pavlova will keep for up to a week. Cover with clingfilm or store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.