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Both trained chefs, Alex and Stacey met in a hot sweaty restaurant kitchen in Hackney, where they escaped together to set up their own thing. The two foodies have always been on the look out for new openings and new trends and noticed that the cupcake and cake pops trend was dying of a fast death. They wanted to pioneer a new sweet food trend. Gooey in the middle, naturally coloured and crazily flavored, their melt in the mouth meringues turned out to be an impressive success. Now they are supplying some amazing high-end retailers like Selfridges and Harvey Nichols in London while they will soon be in Jamie Oliver's Recipease. They have their own Meringue Girls Cookbook coming out this September, published by Random House and shot by David Loftus.
FDL caught up with the first half of the team, Alex, during one of her busy mornings to find out more about this marvellous Meringue venture.
For how long have you been making your meringues?
We have been in business for nearly a year now! It's flown by, but at the same time we have also done so much. From just an idea to a fully fledged business. It still sounds really weird to tell people that we have a meringue business!
How do you come up with the recipes?
We are always experimenting in the kitchen with new flavors. Meringues are quite temperamental things, so that’s probably why most people have just stuck to simple flavours in the past. We like to push the boat out and get a bit 'Willy Wonka' - our latest creations are lemongrass & ginger and manuka honey. So delish... We are always brainstorming new flavours - we are going to bring out a Pina Colada soon. We had such fun recipe testing for the cookbook, a couple of our favorite recipes are a pear, salted caramel, mascarpone & walnut meringue tray bake, and a Ferrero Rocher and hazelnut meringue tower.
Are curious commissions something that happens often in your test kitchen?
We are really loving what we do, as each day is so different and creative. Totally different to the 9 to 5 desk job I used to have! Everyday we get a new curious enquiry or crazy commission, from supplying amazing fashion or art parties, to street food events, to building a wall made of orange meringue bricks! We are busy bees planning our cookbook launch - which will be the first ever meringue floating picnic, sponsored by Sipsmith Gin. Cocktails and Eton Mess on a floating lawn down the Thames this Summer, yes please!
What are you working on at the moment?
We are currently training up some amazing Meringue Girls staff, who are already amazing at piping - it took us ages to perfect, but they have nailed it! This is allowing us to take a bit of a back step with baking and approach some more big retailers. Our book is also the first ever Augmented Reality enabled cookbook, which means that you can scan your I-phone over the page and it pops up with a fun and helpful video to do with the recipe, so we are currently having fun filming these. We have also been asked to appear on Jamie Oliver's FoodTube, and have been approached by a couple of TV production companies - so who knows what is next. In the meantime, we are looking for a larger commercial kitchen to expand to in East London. We would like to bake back of the house and have a sweet cafe/shop in the front.
Would you give us a small description of your upcoming book?
Cupcakes, cake pops and macarons have had their day, now is the age of the meringue! In our book, we show how simple meringues are to make when you know how. Full of unique and colourful recipes, we put a twist on the classic. There is something for everyone - from indulgent dinner parties, getting the kids involved, weddings and gifts, to using up your yolks.