What’s rainbow-coloured, sweet as they come and utterly fun to make with friends? Meringues! I recently celebrated the birthdays of my dear friends Anna and Lucy with an evening masterclass run by London’s very own Meringue Girls. It was a giggle from start to finish, as we covered ourselves in sugar, food colouring and ribbon swirls, all in the name of sweet treats. And the best part? Everything we made, we got to keep! And by keep, I mean share with flatmates and workmates, because as dedicated as I am, there’s no way I could eat 30+ meringues without a serious sugar coma.
The evening was off to a sweet start from the beginning, as we turned up to the pink doorway after work to be greeted by glasses of bubbles and the smiling faces of Stacey and Sylvia. As our group of eager bakers filed in and introduced ourselves, our eyes were drawn to the epic centre-piece, a giant tray of meringues in every possible colour. From gin and tonic to raspberry to watermelon to unicorn poo, there was a flavour for everyone!
The two birthday girls Anna and Lucy, and me!
Once everyone had settled in, we headed over to our pastel-coloured Kitchen Aids (swoon), picked a perfect vintage-style apron (double swoon) and got stuck in. The Girls talked us through the basic technique for perfect whipping – adding hot sugar to egg whites a little at a time, and gradually increasing the speed. We chose flavours and got to work, folding in our choice of ingredient once the peaks were stiff.
Anna painting up her piping bag
From raspberry to toffee honeycomb to watermelon, the range of flavours was mouth-watering! I chose to make mango coconut meringues – I was definitely feeling the tropical tastes that evening. Then it was on to the most technical part of the evening – decanting our raw meringue into our piping bags, and learning the perfect piping technique. I am happy to admit that at this point, I became covered in sugary goodness – not the worst thing that’s ever happened! After a bit of trial and error we got the hang of producing near-perfect bulb shapes, and then it was into the oven for our creation. Next up – nibble time!
My Kiwi compatriot Stacey regaled us with the story of how Meringue Girls began when they met working in a restaurant in Hackney. They teamed up for the reality TV show Cooks to Market and answered the question “What comes after the cupcake and the macaron?” with the beautiful rainbow-coloured meringues we now saw before us. After a shot of their produce went viral on Instagram, the business totally took off! Now they can produce up to 3000 meringues a day, have two cookbooks and are looking at a range of business opportunities. So exciting!
But back to the meringues. With the sweet smell of baked sugar now utterly pervading the kitchen, it was time to see whether we’d created things of beauty or just sugar piles. And fortunately the consensus was firmly for beauty!
A chance to indulge our crafty side came with the assembly of our take-away boxes and bags. I’m not the most artistic, but I had a lot of fun stamping, be-ribboning, and generally having a play. It was amazing to see how many meringues we had created! Some seriously happy workmates and housemates awaited.
I couldn’t recommend the Meringue Girls masterclass highly enough – although it’s not a cheap evening out, it is a huge amount of fun. It would be perfect for a hens party or birthday celebration like ours! As well as being a massive giggle, we learnt a skill that is super easy to use at home – I’m thinking red and green meringues for Christmas!
Have you done the Meringue Girls masterclass, or something similar? What’s your favourite sweet treat to make?