3 free-range egg whites
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
⅛ tsp salt
Red food colouring paste or gel
Melted white chocolate and white sprinkles, to decorate
Preheat oven to 100 degrees C fan-forced (120 degrees conventional). Line an oven tray with baking paper.
Beat egg whites in a large bowl using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form (when the tips stand straight). Beat in cream of tartar, salt and colouring, a little at a time to achieve a deep red.
Spoon meringue into a new disposable pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe meringue into 3cm tall hat shapes that are wider at the base. Pull top part to the side to create a hat tip. Sprinkle with red sugar (see below). Bake for 1 hour until meringues are set but not firm, then cool in oven (turned off) for 30 minutes. Carefully transfer hats to wire rack. Finish with melted chocolate and sprinkles.
FOR RED SUGAR
Massage ½tsp red food colouring into ½ cup crystal sugar in a sealed snap-lock bag. Spread on trap. Dry and store in an airtight jar.
COOK'S TIP: MAKE YOUR BEST MERINGUE
The most important rule of meringue is to use clean, dry equipment. Even a bit of residual oil on your utensils can deflate meringues, preventing those lovely stiff peaks. So, before you start, wash everything with hot soapy water and dry thoroughly.