Lately, my middle brother (I have three!) and my youngest sister have been feeling a little under the weather. And what do you do when people are feeling a little under the weather? You get them flowers!
Sure, I could have gone with a giant fruit basket, but I don’t think my brother really likes fruit and my sister loves all things pretty, so I decided to go with the flowers…
And not just any kind of flowers… Roses!
And not just any kind of roses… Meringue roses!
Not only are meringues delicious, they are also super easy to make and fitted right in my busy still-have-to-read-another-thirty-books-by-June-15th schedule.
Just start by stirring together some egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a double boiler to dissolve the sugar and keep the meringues from weeping. Wait, weeping? Yes, weeping. When the sugar doesn’t properly dissolve into the egg whites, sticky drops of syrup can leak out of the meringues. Not only does it affect the way your meringues look, the syrup can also turn a deliciously crisp meringue in a soggy mess. To test whether all the sugar has dissolved, simply rub the mixture between your fingers. If you feel any sugar grains, keep gently heating and stirring the mixture a little longer, then dip your fingers in again…
Don’t be afraid to get a little messy. After all, that’s what baking is all about!
Once the sugar has dissolved, add half a teaspoon of vanilla and start whisking on high speed until you have a beautiful, glossy, thick meringue.
You want your meringue to be able to hold stiff peaks.
Add a few drops of pink food coloring to make the meringue pink, plop it in a piping bag fitted with a small star tip and start piping!
I have to say, I’ve been wanting to pipe roses for like forever! I’ve just been completely hooked by this technique ever since I first stumbled on I Am Baker’s Rose Cake. I still haven’t made a rose cake yet, but I think meringue roses are just as cute!
Anyway, before you start piping your roses, stick a sheet of baking parchment on a baking sheet by placing little dollops of meringue in each of the baking sheet’s corners.
On with the roses…
Making the roses is really easy: just start in the middle and spiral outwards.
It’s really not that hard. I mean, even I can do it and I have the worst handwriting in the world!
Once they’re all piped up, bake the roses for about 3 hours, until they’re wonderfully light and crisp and feel like little, brittle clouds of vanilla airiness.After my meringues had cooled, I taste tested a few before packing the rest of them in cute little gift bags, and let me tell you, they are ridiculously delicious and addictive. Seriously, I could eat a hundred of them over a simple cup of tea. They just melt in your mouth!
I took a picture of the gift bags, but the tea towel I used as a background turned out to be a little muckier than I thought. So I can’t really show you… You see, I have the best boyfriend in the world, but he just can’t drink his coffee without spilling. So every time he has a cup, he leaves coffee rings behind which he removes with our tea towels.
So that’s why our tea towels are mucky.
Oh hell, I’ll just show you:
See? Delicious meringue roses, pretty little gift bag, great floral mug, cute ribbon, mucky tea towel-background… Oh well, I guess there are worse things than mucky tea towels! ‘Feeling under the weather’, for example…
I hope these little roses make my brother and sister feel a little bit better!
- 2 egg whites
- 120g (or ½ cup + 5 teaspoons) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- a few drops of pink food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 90°C or 195°F (standard oven setting).
- Add the egg whites, the sugar and the vanilla extract to the bowl of a double boiler. Gently heat the mixture, stirring with a rubber spatula until the sugar has completely dissolved into the egg whites. To make sure the sugar has dissolved, rub a little of the mixture between your forefinger and thumb. Once the sugar has properly dissolved, you no longer feel any sugar grains.
- Take the bowl off the water bath and, using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the mixture until it holds stiff peaks, abut 7 minutes. Add a few drops of pink food coloring to the meringue and mix to an even pink.
- Line two baking sheets with baking parchment by sticking the parchment on the sheets with a little meringue.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a medium star tip. Twist the end of the bag to seal and push the meringue down towards the tip. Starting in the middle, pipe 5-cm (2-inch) spirals (or roses), letting the meringue 'fall' out of the piping bag (check the picture above).
- Dry the meringues out in the oven for about 3 hours, until completely crisp.
- Let the meringues cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to a week.
Leslie Olson says
Looks delicious, could I use a different flavoring
The Tough Cookie says
You can add any kind of extract you like, such as lemon or orange or a little rose water. You can also add some instant coffee granules or cocoa powder 🙂
hi, i love ur recipe and gave it a try. I succeeded in my first attempt and thus wanted to make it for the refreshment session in my church. However, my meringue all failed ever since then. i managed to beat it into stiff peaks but the texture is foamy and rough instead of smooth and silky as how it should be.
Do you have any idea what went wrong? I’ve tried a number of things such as washing my tools with vinegar, using room temp eggs, etc. Yet, my meringue still turns out foamy and rough. Can you share with me what I’ve done wrong? Thank you.
The Tough Cookie says
Hi qin, you must be so frustrated by now! Could it be that you’ve overwhipped the whites? If you beat the meringue for too long, it will become dry. Try whipping the meringue to medium-stiff peaks: don’t whip them until they stand up straight when you pull the beater out, but allow the meringue peaks to ‘droop’ a little. This will affect how the meringues look after piping, but I always find that even when meringue has only been whipped to medium-stiff peaks, it holds it shape pretty well.
I hope this helps! Let me know 🙂
These look awesome! I was asked to make cookies for a wedding reception and came across these. Can these be frozen? Was wondering if it effects the taste?
The Tough Cookie says
Hi Jill, I have never tried to freeze these personally, but I don’t think it’s a good idea either. The meringues will probably become chewy in the freezer, because they soak up moisture. You can make them a few days ahead, though. Just store them in an airtight container at room temperature 🙂