Does the thought of making meringues fill you with dread? If you follow a few simple techniques, they can be very simple to master, and you can impress everyone with gorgeous, mouth-watering desserts. Think chocolate meringue roulade, pavlova covered in strawberries, lemon meringue pie or Eton mess with thick cream and seasonal fruits. To start these cooking meringue tips, make sure that your bowl and equipment is absolutely clean. Use a lemon and then wipe dry with a paper towel to help ensure that the egg whites will whip well and reach their full volume. Do not attempt to whisk your egg whites by hand – always use a mixer and allow them to stand at room temperature beforehand for 20 minutes, this helps to produce lighter meringues. Use a low speed and keep whisking until the whites are foamy, then gradually increase the speed until the egg whites are in stiff peaks. If you are brave enough, you can turn the bowl upside down to check that the mixture is stiff enough. Add your sugar a tablespoon at a time and go slowly – if you add the sugar too quickly it can cause caramel bubbles during cooking. One of the best cooking meringue tips is to add half a teaspoon of white vinegar at this stage, to help produce wonderful chewy meringues with a crisp outside. Pipe or spoon the mixture onto parchment paper and put them in the oven immediately, baking for a minimum 30 minutes. Meringues are actually best slowly baked at a low temperature and once ready, left inside overnight, with the oven door slightly open. The best desserts are short and sweet, and I would be surprised if your meringues don’t disappear in one sitting! They really are easy so give them a whirl!