Candice Brown, Great British Bake Off winner 2016, supports our Great Rainbow Bake

We are absolutely delighted that Candice Brown, Great British Bake Off winner 2016, is supporting our Great Rainbow Bake!

Candice is kindly lending her support to encourage families to get busy baking for Rainbow Trust this Bank Holiday weekend. She even took time out of her busy schedule to create a stunning tower of rainbow meringues and has shared the recipe to inspire others to join in:

Candice’s Rainbow Meringues

Can make 24-30 meringues or 12-15 sandwiched meringues

Ingredients:

115g caster sugar

½ lemon, to wipe bowl and whisk

3 egg whites

45g icing sugar

Rainbow coloured food colouring gel

300ml double cream

Blueberry jam, preferably home-made

Mango curd or ready-made passion fruit curd

Sprinkles (e.g. finely chopped nuts, hundreds and thousands, mini chocolate stars)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan (180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4).

Spread out the caster sugar on a baking tray and heat in the oven for about 10 minutes until the sugar starts to melt around the edges.

Meanwhile, use the lemon half to rub the inside of the bowl of a free-standing electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Wipe the whisk with lemon too. This will remove any grease. Put the egg whites into the bowl and whisk on a medium speed until fluffy with firm peaks.

Remove the hot sugar from the oven and reduce the temperature to 100°C fan (120°C/250°F/Gas Mark ½). Slowly add the sugar to the egg whites, a spoonful at a time, whisking all the while on a medium speed. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, continue whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Add the icing sugar a spoonful at a time while whisking.

Check for stiffness by lifting out the whisk – the meringue on it should hold high pointy peaks (or, if you are feeling brave, lift the bowl up and turn it upside down – the meringue should not fall out).

Fit piping bags with nozzles of your choice – I like to use a large round one or a flower nozzle. Paint one stripe of each food colouring gel inside the bags. Divide the meringue equally between the piping bags.

Create your own colours on a small plate before brushing into the piping bag. The gel colours are very concentrated you need only a very small amount – otherwise the meringues may be quite psychedelic!

Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper – stick the paper in place with a smudge of meringue. Pipe out small rounds or flowers in the rainbow colours. Feel free to make different shapes for each colour. You’ll need an even number of meringues.

Dry out the meringues in the oven for about 2 hours until crisp on the outside. Then turn the oven off and leave the meringues inside to cool – you can speed this up by propping open the oven door with a wooden spoon.

Once the meringues are cool, whip the double cream until stiff and smooth. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice. Pipe some cream on the base of a meringue and add a little jam or curd, then press the base of another meringue on to this. Sprinkle what you like around the edge so it sticks to the cream, or leave the meringues plain.

If you’re not filling with jam/curd and cream, you can dip the base of each meringue in melted chocolate.

You can find this recipe (Red, white and blue meringues) amongst other sweet treats in Comfort: Delicious Bakes and Family Treats. (Ebury Press, £20). Photography by Ellis Parrinder.