MERINGUE SANTA HATS
Preparation time 1 hour plus 30 mins cooling Cooking time 1 hour Makes about 30
3 free-range egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
Red food colouring paste or gel Melted white chocolate and
white sprinkles, to decorate
STEP 1 Preheat oven to 100°C fan-forced (120° conventional). Line an oven tray with baking paper. STEP 2 Beat egg whites in a large bowl using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form (when the tips stand straight). Beat in cream of tartar, salt and colouring, a little at a time to achieve a deep red. STEP 3 Spoon meringue into a new disposable pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe meringue into 3cm tall hat shapes that are wider at the base. Pull top part to the side to create a hat tip. Sprinkle with red sugar (see below). Bake for 1 hour until meringues are set but not firm, then cool in oven (turned off) for 30 minutes. Carefully transfer hats to wire rack. Finish with melted chocolate and sprinkles.
FOR RED SUGAR Massage 1/2 tsp red food colouring into 1/2 cup crystal sugar in a sealed snap-lock bag. Spread on tray. Dry and store in an airtight jar.
MERINGUE CHRISTMAS TREES
STEP 1 Follow Steps 1 and 2 of Santa hats except beat in the same amount of green food colouring paste or gel. STEP 2 Spoon meringue into a new disposable pastry bag fitted with a large star or round tip. Pipe meringue into 3cm tall spirals that are wider at the base and narrower at the top. Lightly cover with sprinkles of choice. Bake and cool as in Step 3 of Santa hats (if making larger trees, bake for 11/2 hours). If desired, sift powdered sugar over finished trees for a snowy effect. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days, layered between baking paper, or freeze for up to 3 months.
You can use these gorgeous little trees as table decos until it’s time for dessert!