Hi, can I bake and then blow torch the meringues for Mini Pavlovas without ruining them? I would like a beautiful golden brown finish.
Most meringues, including the meringue bases for Mini Pavlovas (from HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS) are baked in cool ovens meaning that the meringues will not take on much colour themselves. The exception is meringue pie toppings, such as for lemon meringue pie, where the meringue is cooked in a hot oven for a very short period of time. These meringue pie toppings have a darker golden brown colour but are not cooked through and so are soft and should be eaten quickly.
Sugar colours very quickly and can burn very easily so meringues need a low heat and we would not particularly recommend trying to darken the colour of a meringue or a pavlova meringue. Burned sugar has a very bitter taste. But if you wished to try this with a blow torch we would suggest proceeding very carefully and with a reduced flame, or keeping a good distance between the flame and the meringue. A blow torch is, however, perfect for making the sugary crisp crust on top of Nigella's Creme Brulee.