Mini Meringue Bites which are colourful, light and crisp. Pop them in a jar for the perfect foodie gift or party meringue treat.
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Mini meringue bites and memories of childhood
These mini meringue bites transport me back to childhood and remind me that I have always adored meringue. The crisp whiteness… The sweet melt-in-the-mouth experience of loveliness. Eating meringue reminds me of my father. A precious memory, since I lost him to cancer when I was just 18.
Each summer when I was a kid, we would visit a town in Oxfordshire called Wallingford. Whilst there, me and Dad would visit a small café. Just the two of us. It was always a treat for me… Spending simple father-daughter time having tea and cake.
At the café, they served the loveliest, crispest meringues dipped in chocolate. The first time I ate one, I accidentally breathed out after taking a bite and almost disappeared in white dust. We laughed and laughed, me and my dad… After that, each time we went to the cafe, I would try to replicate the hilarity and closeness of the experience. It’s a memory that is cherished.
Making mini meringue bites & a lesson in concentration
After the success in making Pink Pavlova using the Meringue Girls method, I decided to try my hand at little meringues. I confess however that they are not quite as intended. They were meant to be ‘kisses’, but failed to get ‘pointy’ tops, so they became mini meringue bites instead.
They are also a lesson in slowing down and concentrating… Properly! Not doing so creates more work and too many mess-ups… It’s not good to have to do everything twice… Or in the case of these meringues, three times.
Having carefully learnt the lessons on how to make perfect meringue, I managed to break not one, but two cardinal rules. For mini meringue batch 1, I forgot to wipe the bowl with lemon juice before whisking. A likely trace of residual grease resulted in the meringues being a literal and complete ‘flop’.
On the second attempt, I opened the oven door without thinking to ‘check’ progress. Another disastrous lack of concentration! The rush of cold air into the oven resulted in cracks across the meringue tops, the like of which should only be seen in the worst of earthquakes.
By the third attempt, a lack of pointy tops seemed an insignificant worry. But to be honest, the taste and flavour more than made up for their shapelessness.
Little meringues with a hint of caramel
To add a little extra interest, these mini meringue bites have a hint of caramel about them. Infused with natural caramel extract before piping, they initially confuse the taste buds which send muddled messages to the brain about flavour vs expectation.
When adding any colour or flavour to meringue however, it is important to take care. Additions should not be so liquid that they upset the consistency of the mix… And shouldn’t be so oily that they frustrate it into deflation. Strongly flavoured pastes, powders and drops are the way to go. And these little meringues have the balance about right… Crisp and light and perfectly powdery, with flavour that intrigues the palate.
How to colour mini meringue bites
For the prettiest of meringue bites, you want a striped effect. It’s not difficult but will involve painting the piping bag with food colouring paste. I call it the ‘paint and pipe’ method… Follow these steps :
- Turn the piping bag inside out, leaving about an inch or so at the bottom to grab and turn back again later.
- Using a pastry brush, paint stripes of food colour onto the bag from top to bottom (to about half way up), so that when you turn the bag back, the colour will be on the inside.
- Turn the bag back and fill with white meringue.
- Squeeze out the air, trim the end off and pipe.
How to eat mini meringue bites
Mini meringue bites are small enough to pop in the mouth whole and either let melt or crunch into oblivion. If you prefer a little extra decadence however, sandwich them together with a little whipped cream for perfect party meringue treats. You simply cannot beat the combination of sweet meringue with sumptuous cream.
You could also use whole or crushed meringues to make Eton Mess or deconstructed pavlova. And I can definitely vouch for their divine marriage with a scoop of ice cream, a bowl of fruit or the heaven that is eating them dipped in melted chocolate.
Mini meringue bites are most definitely made for sharing… they are so delightfully pretty. Pop them in a jar and tie a bow round the top for the most tempting of foodie gifts.
I could become seriously addicted… Little meringues may just be my new obsession! Maybe they’ll be yours too… Let me know if you make them!
Essential equipment for making meringue
Getting perfect meringue requires a few basics in the kitchen :
- A good stand mixer makes a huge difference. Meringue needs a lot of whisking. There are plenty of stand-mixer options out there for every budget. But I have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer which I love.
- A good spoon/spatula is needed to scrape the meringue mixture from the bowl. I use a flexible Zing Silicone Spoon-spatula, which is one of my favourite kitchen tools.
- The right baking paper is important. It needs to be high quality and perfectly non-stick. I recommend Lakeland Baking Paper every time.
- To pipe your mini meringue bites, you’ll need piping bags. Given you are likely to be using more than one colour and you need the bag completely free of grease, I suggest using disposable bags. For ease of use and non-slippiness, the Lakeland Get-a-Grip Piping and Icing Bags and fantastic.
- To colour your little meringues, you need food colour… Preferably the non-watery type. I use the food colouring paste from Wilton.
Other recipes using meringue on Gluten Free Alchemist
- Zesty Lemon Meringue Roulade
- Raspberry Meringue Pie
- Pink Pavlova
- Rhubarb & Strawberry Meringue Pie
- Cake with Eton Mess Cream
- Orange & Lime Meringue Pie
- Blackcurrant Meringue Pie
For all other yummy gluten free recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist, why not head over to our Recipe Book Index… and feel free to drool.
Mini Meringue Bites
- oven-proof dish
- stand mixer
- disposable piping bags
- pastry/large clean paint brush
- 150 g egg white – clean with NO yolk from approx 4 large eggs
- 300 g white caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla bean powder/paste/caramel extract
- food colouring paste
Make the Meringue
- Prepare three baking trays by lining with baking paper. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400 F/Gas 6 and line a small, deep baking dish with baking paper.
- Weigh the caster sugar into the dish and heat in the oven for 7 minutes (this helps to give the meringue a stable, glossy texture).
- While the sugar is heating, whisk the egg whites (preferably in a stand mixer). Whisk slowly at first (to allow small stabilising bubbles to form) and gradually increase the speed, whisking until the egg white forms stiff peaks.
- Take the hot sugar from the oven and turn the oven down to 110 C/225 F/Gas ¼. Leave the oven door open to enable the oven to cool quicker.
- With the mixer on full speed, add the hot sugar to the egg whites a teaspoon at a time, whisking continually and making sure the mixture has returned to ‘stiff peaks’ before each addition. Continue until all the sugar has been added.
- Once all the sugar has been added, whisk on full speed for at least 5 minutes until truly stiff and glossy. To test whether the mixture is ready, rub a small amount of the mixture between thumb and finger. If it is still gritty with sugar, continue to whisk until smooth.
- Finally add any flavouring to the meringue mix and whisk or fold through.
Pipe the Meringue Bites
- Take a disposable piping bag and turn inside out (leaving about an inch inside the turn to grab and turn back).
- Paint three or four stripes of edible food colouring paste from top to bottom of the inside of the piping bag about half the length of the bag.
- Pull the point back through to turn the bag back the right way (the colour should be on the inside).
- Depending on how many different coloured meringues you want to make, you will need to repeat the above and prepare a piping bag painted with each individual colour. You will also need to divide the meringue mixture proportionately for each colour.
- Fill each bag with meringue, squeezing and squishing a little to remove any air pockets.
- Secure the baking paper onto the baking sheets with a small blob of icing paste in each corner.
- Trim the end off the piping bag (to leave a hole about the size of a 50p piece).
- Carefully pipe blobs of icing paste onto the baking paper, pulling up at the end of each pipe.
- Repeat for each colour until all the meringue is used.
- Bake the meringue for approx 1 hour and 30 minutes (until the base comes away for the paper easily and cleanly). Try not to not open the oven door whilst they are baking for at least an hour and a quarter.
- When baked, turn the oven off, leaving the meringue inside to cool with the oven.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist