One of my favourite techniques I’ve discovered recently is meringue dust. Essentially, it’s dry meringue that’s been blitzed in a food processor.
It has so many uses. I use it to add fake food spoilage mould on my glazed satsuma desserts, as edible cigarette ash, for dusting my beetroot shaped brownie. You can use it as a sort of powdered dry paint for adding colour and texture to cakes and it’s so easy to make.
2 large egg whites
50g caster sugar
50 g icing sugar
Preheat your oven to 80 degrees c, no higher. In a spotlessly clean bowl whisk your egg whites to stiff peaks, but don’t over whisk. While they are getting to that stage mix both the sugars together in a separate bowl. As your eggs reach the stiff peak stage, add a spoonful of the sugar mix and keep whisking. Keep doing this every 10 seconds until all the sugar is used. Keep whisking until the meringue is light, glossy and stands up on its own. If you are going to be adding any colour to your meringue whisk it in now but don’t over mix. I recommend using a concentrated colouring gel as you want to add as small an amount as possible. If you add too much food colouring gel the meringue won’t set hard. Alternatively, you can use a food colouring powder as this won’t add wetness to the mix.
Spread your meringue as thinly as possible onto a baking parchment lined tray (or trays) and place in the oven for around an hour. If it is not dry and hard after this time, leave it in for longer and check every 15 minutes. When you are happy that your meringue is cooked, leave it in the oven but turn it off, and leave the door open slightly. Once the oven is completely cool, your meringue will be ready.
To make it into dust, simply blitz in a food processor until you get it as fine as you want.
If you like, you can add a dash of food flavouring to your raw meringue mix before cooking to give a desired flavour. Just make sure you use a small amount of strong concentrated extract so as to not ruin the meringue mix.