Meringue Frosting

For some reason the term ‘frosting’ kills me. I grew up with icing. Icing on buns. I’d never heard of a bloody cupcake for at least the first two decades of my life. But now the world seems besieged by a tide of buttercream frosted cupcakes.

I like buns with icing.

But. I think this weeks recipe might genuinely be a frosting. It seems too fluffy to just be called icing and it does have a sniff of America about it. So I’ll allow it. It initially seems faffy but it’s really not. I would advise a stand mixer or an electric beater at the very least.

One minor rant for this week. Does anyone know why the Dalkey library has such erratic hours? It doesn’t want to open until 1.15pm (precisely) on Tuesdays and Thursdays and closes for lunch. Not ideal. I feel like I’ve been torturing poor Tom promising him entry to the promised land of unfathomable numbers of free books and missing the opening hours every time. But I’ve googled it now so that card is ours. You’ll not evade me further Dalkey library.

So this frosting *gasp* will cover a whole heap of buns. I’d say it’ll comfortably do about 24 at least. So scale the recipe as you need.

I forgot (was too lazy) to take any photos of the process. Sorry.

Egg whites           3

Caster sugar        135g

Cream of tartar   1/4 teaspoon

Pinch of salt

Put all the ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer, if using one, or into a heatproof bowl otherwise.

Give it a quick whisk to combine everything.

Set up a bain marie/ double boiler. That is a smallish saucepan with a glass or two of simmering water in it and your bowl on top. You don’t want the bottom of your bowl to touch the water, just hang above it.

Now, keeping the water gently simmering beneath, whisk the mix with your electric beaters (on medium) for about 3 or 4mins till all the sugar has been perfectly dissolved and the mix begins to feel warm to the touch.

(It’ll be a bit opaque and a bit fluffy but still mad liquidy. Fear not)

When you get to that stage, remove the bowl from the pan.

Turn the beaters up to high and whisk away till you get very firm peaks. Mine took about 6mins using setting 8 on my kitchenaid stand mixer.

I dare say this stuff would take a bit of gel food colouring very nicely and an old dash of flavouring wouldn’t go amiss either. Classic vanilla or a dash o’ instant coffee powder (mixed with the smallest quantity of water to make it into a paste) would be lovely.

Anyway. It’s lovely. Rubbish photos all the same.


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