Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Simple Meringue Christmas Trees

Here's a fun dessert idea that will delight your Christmas day guests and relatives. My Christmas Tree Meringues or Pavlovas (as we call them here) are a lovely light way to finish a meal served with whipped cream and berries on the side.  

Preparing your meringue mix
Earlier in the year I shared my Meringue recipe and I simply halved the amount of egg white to 4 eggs and used 1.5 cups of sugar. Ideally a stand mixer is the easiest way to achieve a stiff peaked and smooth meringue mix but you can also use hand held beaters to achieve the same (4 egg whites approx 120 grams of white to 1.5 cups caster sugar).
Meringue making tips
 Make sure your bowl is clean, your egg whites are at room temperature and when ready only add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and whip till the mix is at stiff peaks and the sugar is dissolved (rub a small amount between your thumb and forefinger). Also bake on the lowest shelf in your oven and at a very low 110 degrees C - I think that's about 230 degrees F for 40 minutes or until sufficiently dried out. This makes approx. 20 meringue trees. I also like to add a pinch of salt to the egg whites when I begin beating to stabilise.

1. When your meringue mix is ready take your piping nozzle I used Wilton 1A round nozzle and place it in your piping bag. Then fill with your meringue mix and you are ready to pipe your trees.

2. Hold your piping bag straight down on a lined tray and push the meringue out till you get a nice round shape then stop and pipe another round on top that is slightly smaller and repeat creating 5 or 6 levels to each tree and finish with a peak at the top. Make sure to leave more then an 1" between each meringue tree as they will spread slightly and increase in size as they bake.

 as you will see some of my trees sloped because I didn't pipe them straight enough, if you find your piped meringues are not sitting straight simply scrape them off the baking paper and re-pipe.


You will need
-Fondant in the colour of your choice to create the stars
-Star or flower shaped cutter
-Edible baubles - you can use edible pearls, mini round candies, choc chips or rolled fondant balls.
-Glitter or shimmer powders (optional)
-A few pieces of white chocolate to stick the star and bauble to the trees

1. While your meringues are baking and then cooling start to cut your stars using a flower or start shaped mini cutter. I then chose to paint my stars with edible silver powder and edible glitter. 

2. Once your meringues are completely cool melt your white chocolate (you will only need a small amount of chocolate to decorate the trees I used a few pieces from a chocolate bar). Then apply a small amount to the star and attach it gently to the meringue peak. Once that is set start adding the round candy baubles and that is it!


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