The kids in my Mini Chef cooking classes get the giggles when learning how to separate the whites from the yolk - making meringues is good practice for them. This recipe is from my eBook, A Sweet Little Book, which won a Gold Award in the eLit Awards in the U.S.
When making meringues, it’s a good idea to open a new bag of sugar to ensure there’s no extra moisture in it.
Preheat oven to 120degC (110degC if using fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Beat the egg whites and salt on low speed of electric mixer until frothy. Add cream of tartar.
Gradually add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time, beating between each addition until the mixture is glossy before adding the next tablespoon. Continue until mixture is very stiff. Add the vanilla essence or other flavouring eg coffee, hazelnut etc.
Place spoonfuls (or use a piping bag with Size 11 tip) or shape between two spoons onto trays lined with baking paper.
Bake for one hour. Ease meringues with a spatula and leave in the oven another 30 minutes or until dry. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
Tip: you won't need to add the cream of tartar if whisking the whites and sugar in a copper bowl - if doing so, make sure to use a large balloon whisk to get as much air as possible through them.
In the Mini Chef cooking classes, I show the children how to separate the yolks and whites using both halves of the shell, but if they are having trouble with this, I suggest they put the yolk in in the palm of their hands and let the whites slip through their fingers (many of them shudder with delight!)