The girls making unicorn poo for a living

Multi-coloured kisses and unicorn poo are among the many and varied rainbow coloured treats churned out of The Meringue Girls’ East London kitchen. Wedding cakes, display pieces, layer cakes and more – everything crafted by the talented duo and their team of bakers is based around the crunchy whipped-egg delight, meringue.

While most of us only ever eat the boring beige incarnation, Stacey O’Gorman and Alex Hoffler’s versions come in a range of dreamy flavours from watermelon, to gin & tonic, to the popular pistachio and rosewater. Every item is fairytale fantastic and a culinary work of art – the fairy bread to the adult birthday party. Khoollect travelled over the rainbow to meet Hackney’s purveyors of ‘unicorn poo’.

A Day in the Life of The Meringue Girls

What inspired you to start the Meringue Girls?

We met while working in a hot, sweaty, male-dominated restaurant kitchen in Hackney, East London. We bonded over our love of sweet things, and both felt that sweet treats – like cupcakes and macarons – had their moment in the spotlight, and it was now time to introduce something new. That’s when we hit on the idea of meringues.

Meringue Girls Unicorn Poo

Meringues are gluten-free, visually stunning, and you can do pretty much anything with them. We make meringues in all kinds of flavours, so there’s something for everyone. We also thought that there should be more of a focus on natural flavourings and colours, so we’ve incorporated that into our products.

You started out with just the two of you – how many staff do you have now, and how have things changed/progressed?

We’ve got about eight Meringue Girls now, and we couldn’t be more stunned at how quickly we’ve grown. We started out in Alex’s home kitchen, then moved to a part time bakery rental where we baked at night until the wee hours of the morning. Now we have our very own beautiful bakery just off Broadway Market. We can’t believe three years has gone so fast.

What do you love most about your job?

We both have a creative flair when it comes to food – food writing, styling and propping is what we both love the most. However, we absolutely love creating bespoke meringues and recipes for people. Weddings are really fun because we get such great feedback from people saying that the meringues were so fun and different. We also enjoy coming up with crazy ways to display our kisses.

Meringue Girls Lemon and raspberry fairy floss cake

Tell us about any new projects or ideas you’re working on right now?

We’re doing so much. At the minute our focus is on expanding and exploring how to franchise our brand – we’ve hit all our goals so far, so we’re now creating new ones to aim for. We’re thinking about sending our meringue-making wisdom abroad to carefully chosen franchisees to take our kisses global. It’s very exciting!

What’s your biggest achievement?

It’s hard to choose. We’ve had so many great things happen – we’ve worked with big magazines like Marie Claire and Grazia, created beautiful meringues for events such as Vogue Night Out, and made bespoke kisses for brands such as Alexander McQueen. Our biggest achievement is probably having our very own bakery with the most wonderful staff, and publishing two cookbooks.

What’s the coolest opportunity that’s come up through your work?

We’ve now been flown over to Italy twice for the most fabulous three-day Indian weddings you could possibly imagine. Last year we were flown to Puglia, and this year to Florence. It’s a hard life but someone’s gotta do it.

What’s your favourite product in your range?

Probably our classic kiss – they’re just so versatile. We’ve created some really lovely flavours for clients, and every time we make something bespoke it’s our new favourite.

What keeps you getting up to go to work each day?

The fact that this is our dream career, and we don’t have to do the typical 9am-5pm day job.

Panibois gift box

Best Kept Secrets

I khoollect a few …

We are ALWAYS going to charity shops and car boot sales to hunt down any food styling props we can get our hands on. Bundt tins, rolling pins, vintage graters, old silver cutlery, colour washed wooden boards – you name it.

What’s your favourite item in your #khoollection?

Stacey: It would have to be my bed. I’m not joking, it’s the snuggliest, squishiest thing a girl could ask for – if it were up to me, I would never get out.

Alex: It would have to be my dining room table – it’s the most incredible vintage adjustable blue-washed wooden table. Such a statement piece for the dining room.

A life lesson that you’d tell your younger self?

Don’t waste your time thinking about what’s in the past or what’s going to happen in the future. Focus on making the most of right now.

Urban Favourites

Where do you call home and what do you love most about it?

Alex: Although I grew up in West London, Hackney has always held the key to my heart. It’s where I’ve had the most memorable times of my life, including raising my ridiculously delicious daughter Indi.

What’s special about London?

Stacey: Growing up in New Zealand, I always longed to travel the world. I didn’t plan to stay in London for long, but there was just something unexplainable that wouldn’t let me leave. There’s something about the diversity of cultures and the liberal mindset of the people I’ve met here that I just can’t shake off.

Your favourite places for coffee?

Caravan

Best dinner out?

Typing Room

Top spot for dessert?

Meringue Girls dessert bar at Street Feast (obvi)!

Where to pick up the best fresh produce?

Stoke Newington farmer’s market (on every Saturday).

The best nook in the city for reading, writing or designing?

The Vintage Emporium just off Brick Lane

Best green space or park?

Hampstead Heath, always.

How do you spend a lazy Sunday?

Wake up, make a delicious brekkie for our hubbies and children. Wander down to Columbia Road flower markets for some serious plant shopping. Tea and cake at Cake Hole. Pick up something delicious for dinner to slow cook. Take a nap. Head to Stretch Yoga on Broadway Market for some restorative yoga with Roberto. Head back home to feast, snuggle up and watch a good documentary. Sleep.

 

If not in London, where would you be?

Stacey: After being here for five  years, I am getting a strong pull to go back home to Australasia. I am craving the sun and the sea desperately!

What’s your favourite meringue-based dessert? Tell us in the comments below.

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WRITTEN BY:
Bex Shannon

Hailing from far away New Zealand, Bex is into music, travel and everything vintage and retro. She h...

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Read The Meringue Girls’ tips and tricks for achieving the ultimate meringue-oriented dessert.

Recipes to try:

Try out Editor-in-Chief Rachel Khoo’s recipe for French meringue kisses.

Photos by

David Loftus.