It’s been a really busy week for me and I haven’t had anywhere near the time I need in the kitchen. Cooking for me is a need in the same way writers need to write and artists need to paint. I’m just not happy unless I have that creative outlet. We had old friends from southern Australia visit this week and because it’s June we ate hefty wintery food and I wanted a light dessert that wouldn’t be filling. Meringue is really versatile and my guests say it’s like eating sweet air.
I’d made fresh strawberry ice cream and I had egg whites left over and that always spells meringue at our house. I decided to make rectangles because I have this lovely rectangular plate and I wanted to use it. Never mind that the size of my meringues were larger than would look good on the plate, it was still a good idea. A round plate did just fine. Next time I’ll measure the plate!
My meringues are only room temperature egg whites and caster or superfine sugar – that’s it. Whip the egg whites til foamy and then add the sugar very slowly and beat until you rub some of the mixture between your fingers and there’s no gritty sugar left. Then shape into layers on baking paper and bake in a low oven til they’re crunchy on the outside and moist and fluffy on the inside.
I have visited some wonderful blogs this week and want to share them with you. Veronica’s Cornucopia has a delicious Pound Cake made with Condensed Milk and I can’t get this recipe out of my head. I will have to make it soon or I won’t get any sleep. For thirsty people who love watermelon and pomegranate, Chef in Disguise posted a recipe called Watermelon Pomegranate Dream that puts these two flavors together brilliantly. Finally, if you’re a raspberry lover and a blueberry lover like I am, then you won’t be able to resist Blissfully Delicious’ Fresh Berry Tart. The berries sit on lovely pastry cream and would be perfect for a summer night’s dessert.
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 cups superfine (caster sugar)
- 1½ cups whipping cream
- 1 tbs powdered (icing) sugar
- ¼ cup coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- chocolate flakes
- berries for garnish
- Preheat oven to 250°F - 120°C
- Trace rectangles on 3 pieces of parchment or greaseproof paper, invert to line baking sheets.
- Beat egg whites until foamy
- Begin adding sugar in a very slow stream until all is incorporated
- Continue beating until meringue is glossy and you can't feel sugar when you rub some of the meringue between your fingers
- Following the tracing lines on the baking sheets make three triangles and smooth the top
- Place the meringues in the oven for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 225°F - 100°C and bake for another 40 to 45 minutes. Watch them if your oven thermometer is a bit dodgy because you want the meringues to stay white
- When baked the meringues should sound hollow when gently tapped.
- Place on a cooling rack.
- Whip cream until soft peaks form and then add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until cream isn't runny but not stiff. You don't want butter.
- Remove baking paper from one meringue and place on serving dish.
- Add whipped cream to the top and sprinkle coconut over the top.
- Repeat with layers 2 and 3
- Finish by sprinkling the top with chocolate and garnish with berries.