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Thursday 1 November 2012

Five Minutes with the Meringue Girls

Brownies, cupcakes, macaroons, cake-pops, whoopie pies - all delicious, all very naughty but they're also all just a little bit passé. 

Cupcakes? So Sex & the City, so twelve years ago. 

Macaroons? Popping up everywhere in their pretty pastel hues but mirage-like in their ability to look like a macaroon but taste like cardboard. We're sticking to Laduree.

Cake-pops? Super cute but now even peddled by the likes of Starbucks...

So what's a forward-thinking girl with her finger firmly on the fashion pulse to do then when she needs a sugar high? Call in the Meringue Girls of course... 

Alex Hoffler and Stacey O'Gorman, AKA the Meringue Girls, are the masterminds behind the new wave of meringue love. The girls burst onto the scene a few months ago pushing aside the stale cupcakes and boring brownies with their bite-sized drops of meringue scrumptiousness which are almost too beautiful to eat. Who are we kidding? They may be beautiful, but these babies are being devoured by anyone and everyone from peckish punters at Street Feast in Hackney to fashion's elite at uber-glam parties. 

We were lucky enough to grab five minutes with the girls to catch up on all things sugary and sweet...

Tell us a little bit about Meringue Girls. How did you get started and what was your inspiration?

Stacey and I are both trained chefs.  Six months ago our head chef, Nico, mentioned a new TV culinary series called Cooks To Market which he had seen on Twitter.  In each programme two sets of food business entrepreneurs go head to head to prove that their product is best.  Once the fight is over, the winners get a chance to pitch their product to a panel; sort of like a Dragons Den meets Apprentice meets Master Chef.  

Stacey and I applied, got through the rounds, and had to battle it out against a team producing Indian street food - Bhel Puri.  The show hasn't been aired so I can't reveal the outcome just yet.. but we are cringing about seeing ourselves on the box! 

The idea came about as we could see that the cupcake fad was fast dying, and people were looking for the next big sweet trend.  Our meringues are unique - they are handmade, bitesize, freerange, and full of natural & delicious flavours such as matcha green tea, pistachio & rosewater, strawberry & black pepper, and coconut & hazelnut.

Since the show we have been trading at street food markets and food shows like Feast & Taste of London.  We are just about to start a regular pitch at Street Feast in Hackney Downs, and have signed up to Kerb (the new Eat.St), we really enjoy the street food trader life - its a big fun community. 

A huge percentage of our meringue orders come from Fashion & PR companies - we’ve done loads of exciting launch parties and events, for Vogue Night Out, Warehouse, River Island, Whistles, L’Oreal and as of yesterday, Alexander McQueen!  We love doing these jobs as we get to create bespoke flavours, and people seem to love our meringues with a glass of champers! 

We are also in talks with three of the biggest high end food hall retailers in the UK.  From the initial idea to seeing the product on the shelf is a long process, but we are almost there... 

What's been your favourite Meringue job so far?

Every day just gets better and better! Three weeks ago it was when Vogue asked us to do meringues for them, last week it was when Gizzi Erskine asked us to so the Asian inspired petit fours for her Korean Pop Up event and this week, well....... obviously the job for McQueen!

Describe a typical day in the life of a Meringue Girl?

There is no typical day for a Meringue Girl.  Every day is so different.  One day we will be making 3000 multi-coloured/flavoured meringues for a street food festival and the next we will only have an order for 200 meringues but it will be for an amazing fashion brand.  This week we are doing a photo shoot for our website, and have miraculously wangled to work with the world's best food photographer, DavidLoftus (Jamie Oliver's only photographer) Excited? Yes!!

Images via:

The Meringue Girls
Currently cooking from Hackney, London.
Tel: +44 7815 135216

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