Well, here is an activity that pleases me: a basic meringue recipe turned Ghost Treats. It is a double whammy, as it falls into our love for cooking with kids, as well as exploring science – or food science with kids in this instance! And we have something yummy in time for Halloween. Win win all round! Hooray! And check out those oh so easy Celementine Jack O’Lanterns.. aren’t they the cutest? They would go really well with this cute Jack O’Lantern Finger Knitted decoration too!
Basic Meringue Recipe
per egg white, 50g caster sugar (if large eggs, use 60g of sugar)
a little chocolate for melting and decorating!
(Try our other meringue recipe that we used for making Ice Cream Cupcakes!)
Preheat the oven to 120C
1) Get the kids to help you separate the egg whites. I wrote about teaching them how to separate eggs for our pancake recipe. Teaching kids to handle things like eggs is a basic “kitchen life skill”.
2) Put the eggs in your mixing bowl – I find our metal mixing bowl works MUCH BETTER for meringues (there is bound to be some science in there).
3) Start mixing, as the eggs start to form strong peaks, add your sugar one tea spoon at a time.
4) Take your piping bag. Don’t overfill it. Snip the bottom (if it is a disposable one) and get piping. We did the head first, then two arms and then the ghostly body.
5) Cook in the oven for 40min or so – until they start to harden and before they turn brown (keep checking!!). Remove and let cool.
Once fully cooled, melt a little chocolate and using a chop stick or something similar, add little eyes and mouth. Done.
There is a lot of things you can do regarding “food science” – after all the process of heating what we eat, changes it’s structure and nature of the food. When making meringues there is two step process – the whisking turns the clear liquid into into something white and fluffy and the cooking, which turns the soft egg white into something hard.
Eggs contain something called “albumin”. Before you whisk your egg the albumin is all curled up. When you whisk your eggs you are whisking air bubbles into the egg, the albumin unfolds and which the albumin traps, making the egg look foamy (in a similar way you get bubble when you “whisk soapy water”.