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Meringue Swans

Seven swans-a-swimming - but this time they're made from meringue and you don't need to be the Queen to eat them.


Instructions

  1. 1 Preheat the oven to 120c/100 fan gas mark 1/ 248F


  2. 2 In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand whisk, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff peaks


  3. 3 Continue to whisk and spoon in 220g of the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated and glossy.


  4. 4 Line three baking trays with baking paper and prepare two piping bags with a medium round nozzle and a large star nozzle.


  5. 5 Spoon a third of the mixture in the round nozzle piping bag and the rest into the star nozzle piping bag.


  6. 6 With the round nozzle piping bag, pipe 7 arches onto one baking tray, to represent the swan’s neck, loosening the pressure at the end to make a pointed tip, to represent the beak.


  7. 7 With the other piping bag, pipe 14 wings. You want to do a thick pretzel type shape. Start in the centre and piping around in a circle, go past the centre point and then loop back to the centre and pull up.


  8. 8 Once you have piped all the wings and necks, place them in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until dry and crisp.


  9. 9 To make the creme patisserie, combine the egg yolks, sugar and flours in a bowl and whisk well.


  10. 10 Heat the milk in a pan to just below boiling point and then gradually pour into the egg mixture while you whisk. Pour back into the saucepan and heat on medium, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens.


  11. 11 Bring the mixture to the boil and then turn off. Allow to cool completely.


  12. 12 To assemble the swans, take one ‘wing’ and smooth the flat side with creme patisserie, place a neck out one side and then sandwich with the other wing.


  13. 13 Adjust the neck to stand up and continue until all the swans are made. Make a small eye with a little food colouring or black writing icing. Serve.


Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 30g plain flour
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 275ml milk
  • 1 black icing or food colouring

Makes 7 swans

Total time required 2 hrs

  • Preparation time: 30 mins
  • Cooking time: 1 hr 30 mins