I made the mini meringues recipe from Nigella but they didn't crisp up but stayed soft on the inside with a slightly crusty outside, bit like a crispy marshmallow. They were very soft when I tried to pick them up. What did I do wrong?
Nigella's Mini Pavlovas (from HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS) are mini meringues that are topped with fruit and cream. The meringues are pavlova-style meringues, which means that they will have a crisp exterior and a marshmallowy interior. This is due to the addition of cornflour (cornstarch) and white wine vinegar. The baking technique is also different to classic meringues as they are baked in a 180°C/160°C fan/350°F oven that is then reduced to 150°C/130°C Fan/300°F and the meringues are baked for 30 minutes. This is in comparison to classic meringues that are dried out in a low oven for a long period of time.
The crisp crust of the meringues should be strong enough to mean that they hold together when the meringues are removed from the baking sheet. If they are too fragile to move there could be a few reasons for this. If it is very wet or humid weather then the meringues will overall be softer as the meringues will absorb moisture from the air and it is better to try and avoid making meringues under these conditions. Also make sure that the oven has been properly preheated as the early blast of higher heat helps to set the outside crust of the meringues. You can also leave the mini meringues in the turned-off oven until it has cooled completely, which may help them to set a little more.