Traditionally, the meringue-making process would involve propping the oven door open with a wooden spoon and waiting for hours on end! In days gone by, cooks would use the residual warmth from a masonry heater. The idea behind this was to crisp up the sugary meringue mixture without toasting it. When it comes to making meringues at home, a baking time of several hours is often a little too long. And sometimes there’s simply not enough time before your guests arrive. Thankfully, it’s possible to speed up the process by spreading the meringue mixture more thinly. This is a tip that top chef, cookery course instructor and gastro advisor Jann M. Hoffmann remembers from his restaurant days. “Simply place a dollop of meringue mixture on a sheet of baking paper and spread to a thickness of approx. 4-5 mm”, he explains. Spread like this, the meringues will dry within the hour at 100 °C. You can then insert the meringue into ice cream like a sail. This is a good way of using up leftover egg whites, for example after making mayonnaise.

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