MERINGUES: Makes 6-9 pops
- Top tip to start: Check your mixer bowl is clean and grease-free. Any residue will prevent your egg whites from building volume. You can clean your bowl by wiping it with some vinegar or lemon juice on kitchen paper.
- Turn your oven to 200˚C and prepare your ingredients.
- Separate your egg whites into your mixer bowl (perhaps reserve the yolks for some delicious lemon curd?), and add a pinch of salt. Turn your mixer on to low speed.
- Wait for small, frothy bubbles to appear amongst your egg whites, and then very gradually increase the speed to high. Doing this will help stabilise the egg whites and build stiff peaks. Once the whites have reached the stiff peak stage, add the sugar one spoonful at a time, whilst the mixer is still running.
- After all the sugar has been added, leave the mixer to run for a further 5-7 mins. In the meantime, prepare your piping bag: Hold on to the tip of the bag and turn it inside out, but not fully – don’t poke through the tip you are holding on to – it will enable you to turn it back the right way again. Stand the inside-out piping bag over a tall glass to support it, and then paint your coloured stripes up the sides of the bag. Leave an inch or two between each stripe, and a few inches at the base of the bag so it doesn’t get all over your hands when handling.
- Hold on to the tip of the bag again and turn it back the right way. Rest it inside of the tall glass, turning the neck of the bag over a couple of inches to create a bit of a collar. This will give you something to hold on to as you ‘shimmy’ your meringue mix down into the bag. Now return to your mixer, turn it off, and check the meringue mix by rubbing a small amount between your finger & thumb. If you can feel any grains of sugar, continue to whisk it further until the mix feels smooth.
- Scoop your deliciously glossy & stiff meringue mix into the piping bag, gently shaking and ‘shimmy-ing’ it down to the bottom of the bag if necessary. Don’t over fill it though. You can always leave a bit of the mix in the bowl and add it to the bag once you’ve piped a few pops and there’s space. Snip 1.5cm off the tip of the bag.
- To pipe: I like to twist the neck of the bag around my right index finger, and then grip the top of the bag. With my left hand, I gently hold the bag slightly lower down than my right, and use both hands to guide the bag. Hover the bag about 1cm above the baking sheet, squeeze gently, and continue squeezing as you create your design. Gently pull up whilst releasing pressure to finish piping. The first little bit of your meringue in the piping bag won’t have any colour running through it, so use this to ‘glue’ down the grease paper to the baking sheets. Pipe 9 small blobs roughly 10cm apart, and press a lollipop stick into each one. Pipe circular pinwheel swirls over each blob, approx 8cm in size (there needs to a bit of space between each) to create your pops.
- Turn the oven down to 100˚C and bake the meringues for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and leave the meringues to cool in the oven for a further hour to create a lovely mallow-y centre. Once cool you can then make a start on your marshmallow, or store the pops somewhere dry and airtight to resume the marshmallow making the following day.
- In a small saucepan, soak the powdered gelatine in 150ml (½ cup) of cold water. Whisk it in to the water thoroughly to avoid any lumps and set aside to ‘bloom’ (hydrate). The gelatine will suck up all the water and look a bit like a grainy lump of jelly.
- Puree the raspberries in a blender (or with a hand held one) and then sieve to remove any pips. Hopefully you have been left with ½ cup / approximately 150ml of raspberry puree, but if not, top up the remaining with water. Put the puree, along with 180g of sugar, into a heavy bottomed saucepan. This saucepan needs to be small yet deep enough that the liquid covers 1-2 inches of your candy thermometer to ensure an accurate reading.
- Lastly, put ½ of the liquid glucose into the bowl of your stand mixer, and the other ½ into the saucepan with the puree & sugar. Glucose is incredibly sticky, so this doesn’t need to be accurate, and you may also find using a lightly greased spatula makes it easier to do the job.
Place your thermometer into the pan with the sugar/raspberry/glucose mix, and turn your hob onto a high heat. Stir occasionally with a heat safe spatula to prevent it from burning on the bottom. Whilst your sugar mix is heating, gently melt the bloomed gelatine and water over a low heat until there are no lumps. Do not allow to boil. This only takes seconds, so keep stirring and your eye on it. Then add it to the glucose in your mixer bowl.
- The sugar mix needs to reach 112˚C. A few degrees before it reaches this temp, turn your mixer on the lowest speed so that it is already running when you add the sugar mix. Once at temp, quickly but very carefully (the mix is SUPER HOT), turn the hob off, remove the thermometer*, and slowly pour the molten sugar into the running mixer, trying to not let it hit the whisk. Don’t worry if some of the raspberry puree has burnt on the bottom of the pan – just don’t scrape this into the mixer.
- Immediately turn the mixer to a med-high speed and leave to run for 5 minutes. Prepare your piping bag by snipping enough off the tip for your star nozzle to rest through (if using), or 1cm if not. Rest the bag inside a tall glass and turn over 1-2 inches of the neck to create a collar (the same principal as with the meringues).
- After 5 minutes, you’ll notice your mallow mix has turned light pink, opaque, and has increased in volume. It’s still too runny though. Now turn the mixer up to full speed and mix for a further 2-4 minutes. You’re looking for the mix to have increased in volume further, but more importantly, when you lift up the whisk it will be stiff enough to hold its shape, with a very slow drip. When ready, pour the mallow mix into the piping bag, with the help of a spatula. You can do it bit by bit, gently shaking the mallow down the bag, but try to work quickly now as the marshmallow is setting all the time. Don’t over fill the bag. You can re-fill it half way through piping, but again, ensure to work quickly.
- Pipe small swirls over the top of each pop, but leave some of that pretty rainbow meringue showing around the edge. Once you have piped all of them, decorate with sprinkles of your choice. Leave the mallow to set for 15 mins, then shake over a light coating of the corn flour and icing sugar mix. This is optional, but it will stop the mallow from being sticky. Dust off the corn flour & icing sugar with a food safe brush.
- Finally, stand back and enjoy your beautiful and delicious handiwork. Enjoy! Mermallow pops will last 1-2 weeks stored dry & air tight.