When it comes to decorating cakes, cupcakes, tarts and even cheesecakes, there is nothing holding you back and the sky is the limit. Today, I’m showing you how to make meringue kisses so you can use these dainty sweet treats to decorate a wide variety of desserts or just transform it into a dessert itself.
Watch the video on how to make meringue kisses
How to make Meringue Kisses at home
Meringues essentially achieve their crisp texture on the outside from drying out in the oven. Therefore, having the oven on a very low temperature of a 90 degrees Celsius is essential. A slow, moderately warm oven heat dries out the meringue leaving it crisp on the outside and marshmallowy on the inside. I like to keep my meringue kisses in the oven for about an hour in winter months (from December to February). At all other times, I like to increase the bake time to 90 minutes.
One of the prime reasons for doing this is the level of humidity in the air. As I live in Mumbai, the humidity is at an all time high throughout the year. However, during winter months, it’s much lower and the air is slightly drier. If where you live is less humid, 60 minutes of bake time will suffice. How would you be able to tell if your meringue kisses are ready? Essentially, the meringue kisses are ready when you gently try to lift them off the parchment paper and they do so without any resistance. They’ll ideally peel off the paper with ease.
Ingredients for making meringue kisses
Essentially, meringue kisses are the result of using just 3 ingredients – egg whites, sugar and sea salt. There are many recipes that call for cream of tartar but I find that using sea salt is enough to provide it with the stability it needs to bring the meringue to stiff peaks. You can also flavour your meringues with extracts but a good rule of thumb is to keep it minimal and add a very minuscule quantity of flavouring so as to not interfere with the stability of the meringue.
Sugar is the second and most pivotal ingredient in making the meringues. Skimp on it or try to find a reliable substitute and you can very well mess up the recipe. When making meringues, always follow the rulebook principle of the 1:2 ratio. for every 1 part of egg whites, you use 2 parts sugar. This brings me to my next point.
Always weigh your egg whites when making your meringue kisses. I could tell you to use 2 egg whites but their actual weight would vary incredibly. For instance, at the time when I was making these meringue kisses, the first trial included 2 egg whites, combined weight of which was 54 grams. On the second occasion, 2 egg whites used weighed 66 grams. Now, if I’d have followed the 1:2 ratio and used 108 grams sugar in both test batches, my second batch would never have worked leaving me to sob over my failed attempt. So, rule of thumb – always ALWAYS weigh your egg whites and then use double the amount of sugar.
Now that you have learned how to make meringue kisses, I hope you make them at home and use it to decorate your favourite cakes and cupcakes.
- 66 grams egg whites, room temperature
- a pinch of sea salt
- 132 grams caster sugar
- 1/4th teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 90 degrees C / 200 F
- Ensure that the bowl / electric beaters you use contain no grease and are absolutely clean
- Add the egg whites and sea salt to the bowl and beat on low speed of electric beaters for about 3 minutes.
- Once they get foamy, increase speed of electric beaters to medium, begin adding the caster sugar, a spoonful at a time.
- This will take roughly 3 minutes.
- Finally, increase speed to medium high and beat for 2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and any gel food colour you desire and beat for a further 1-2 minutes until stiff peaks form.
- Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 6B tip.
- Pipe meringue kisses onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Put the tray in the oven for about an hour or until the meringues have dried out
- When you peel them off the parchment, they should come off easily. That's how you know they're done.
- Once done, turn off the oven, leave the tray inside and keep the door slightly ajar to let the temperature reduce gradually.
- This takes about 30 minutes.
- Transfer to an airtight container and use to decorate your chocolate fudge cake