2 egg whites, at room temperature
2 pinches cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup superfine sugar
For chocolate meringues: Omit vanilla and sift 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder with half the sugar. Add to egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Continue with Step 1.