Demerara and caster sugar behave very differently in cooking: sometimes you can get away with substituting one for the other, and sometimes you can’t. When I first made meringues (Mother’s Day, 2014), I couldn’t help but wonder, in my own mischievous way, if I could make them with different kinds of sugar. Getting right the ratio of caster to demerara took three or four attempts, but they were experiments I was quite happy to make!

Makes 6 medium-sized meringues from 19p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change.

4 eggs, 60p (89p/6 free range)

150g caster sugar, 24p (£1.60/kg)

150g demerara sugar, 23p (£1.50/kg)

1 teaspoon cornflour, or ordinary flour will do, <1p

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, 3p (80p/350ml)

Preheat the oven to 130°C/250°F/gas ½. Take a baking sheet or two, and line with greaseproof paper.

Separate the eggs, and put the yolks to one side. (You can freeze them individually in an ice-cube tray (although it doesn’t necessarily need to be a dachschund shaped one…) and add them to an omelette or scrambled eggs, or pop them into the fridge and make a quick custard out of them at some point over the next 2 days.)

Whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks – this is one of those occasions where an electric mixer of some description comes in handy, but if you don’t have one, persevere and change arms every few minutes!

When the whites have stiffened, add the caster sugar, a tablespoon or two at a time, and beat it in. Then beat in the demerara sugar, a tablespoon at a time. When all the sugar is in, the mixture will be thick and glossy.

Add the cornflour, then the vinegar, and beat again. Dollop the meringue mixture upwards on to your trays (to form a pretty curl on top), a very heaped tablespoon at a time, shaking gently to loosen the mixture. If I’m feeling impatient, I point the spoon downwards and use two fingers to scrape the mixture off – it makes a messy, modern-art-style meringue.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour AND DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. Leave these babies well alone! Then turn off the oven, still without opening it, and keep the door shut. Leave the meringues in there for another hour or so, until the oven has cooled completely, then remove.

They are ready to eat, or you can store them in an airtight bag or container for up to 3 days.

From ‘A Year In 120 Recipes‘ by Jack Monroe. Photography by Susan Bell.

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All text copyright Jack Monroe.