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So, I have two egg whites left over from the Viennese love biscuits, I have family over for afternoon tea next week. Meringue lasts forever in a sealed container – what am I to do?

Only one option – meringue nests. I use Delia Smith’s recipe. It is incredibly prescriptive – for goodness sakes, she even tells you how many minutes to whisk the eggs on low, medium, and high. This brings out my rebellious streak. But I know from experience not to mess with Delia. And why would I? This recipe always comes out perfectly.

For this reason, it is an exercise in frustration. But if you behave, and do as you’re told, the next morning you will have a delicious surprise waiting in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 110g caster sugar

Set the oven to 150C.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and, using an electric hand whisk on a low-speed, begin whisking.

Continue for about 2 minutes, until the whites are foamy, then switch the speed to medium and carry on whisking for 1 more minute.

Now turn the speed to high and continue whisking until the egg whites reach the stiff-peak stage. Next, whisk the sugar in on fast speed, a little at a time (about a dessertspoon), until you have a stiff and glossy mixture.

Now all you do is spoon 8 heaped dessertspoons of the mixture on to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly. Then, using the back of a teaspoon, hollow out the centres to create your nest.

Next, put them on the centre shelf of the oven, immediately reduce the heat to 140C and leave them for 30 minutes.

After that, turn the oven off and leave the meringues to dry out in the warmth of the oven until it is completely cold (usually about 4 hours, or overnight).

I’ve served them with strawberries, raspberries and low-fat yogurt. But if you’re sensible, you’ll use cream.

Ooh Delia, I made 12 instead of 8.

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