Saturday, 1 May 2010

sugar rush.....Ottolenghi meringues

I think I must have a sweet tooth today.  That, combined with a surplus of egg whites left over from the Rhubarb Bars I though meringues were in order... and who better to advise me on how to make the perfect meringue than those lovely boys at Ottolenghi, famous for their large fluffy cloud like clusters of sweet, crunchy, melt-in-the-mouth nuggets of heaven!

We had to endure IKEA yesterday so we deserve these treats.

I've adapted their Pistachio and Rosewater meringues into Coffee and Almond, mainly because The Viking was making a fresh brew of coffee and all I had in the cupboard this morning was almond flakes...

They're actually incredibly easy to make yet they look like they've been crafted by the gods in some kind of cloud kitchen on Mount Olympus.

Ingredients 
500g caster sugar
250g free-range egg whites (6 eggs)
2 tsp of freshly brewed coffee
handful of crushed almond flakes

Preheat the oven to 200 and bake the sugar on a baking tray for about 8mins or until the sugar is hot.

While the sugar is in the oven place the egg whites in a bowl and when the sugar is almost done start to whisk them until they start to froth up. (The book tells you to use a good free-standing electric mixer, not a hand whisk as later you have to whisk for 10 mins and the mixture gets quite stiff... I only have one of those daft had whisks but I borrowed Tracey's double hand whisk and that did the job perfectly...)

Carefully pour the sugar into the whisking egg whites, once it has all been added, add the coffee and continue to whisk on high speed untill the eggs are cool (about 10mins.) At this point it should keep its shape when you lift a bit from the bowl and should look silky.  You can now taste it and add more coffee as desired.

Turn down the oven to 110 and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper and spoon dollops onto them... make sure you leave plenty of space around each meringue as they nearly double in size!  Be as messy as you like it all looks fabulous when it comes out of the oven.

Sprinkle the almonds on top and place it all in the oven and leave for 2 hours.. let them cool when they're done...you know they're ready when they sound hollow to the tap but they should still be gooey inside.

Delicious filled with whipped cream with sweet chestnut puree or hot chocolate sauce!

eat and of course, enjoy!

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