Posts Tagged ‘Meringue’

Fabulously chocolatey gooey pavlova with raspberries and whipped cream – if you don’t try this you are a fool!!

February 15, 2011

Honestly I mean it. You would have to be slightly mental not to absolutely love this Pavlova. Many many years ago one of my friends handed me a tatty photocopy of a Nigella Lawson Chocolate Pavlova recipe and made me promise that I would make it. She assured me that I would not be disappointed. And was spot on. I have no idea where the original recipe is now but this makey-uppy version is now one of my “old faithfuls”. Meringue is honestly not difficult to make. The best thing about it is even if it cracks and looks like an absolute disaster it still tastes and looks amazing as soon as you cover it with whipped cream and fruit. Perfect!

Ingredients serves (8 – 10)

6 egg whites (large eggs ideally free range organic)
400 grams caster sugar
teaspoon of white wine vinegar
2 tbsp of best quality cocoa powder (I used Green and Blacks)
100 grams best quality dark chocolate finely chopped (I used Green and Blacks 70%)
2 teaspoons of corn flour
600 mls double cream
2 punnets of fresh raspberries

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees

Take a large mixing bowl and wash it thoroughly with hot soapy water to ensure there is absolutely no oil in it. Meringue hates oil!!

Separate the eggs and add only the white to the bowl – do not get ANY yolk in the egg white this will affect the whites from whisking properly.

If you do get some yolk or egg-shell in your whites use one of the halved egg shells to remove it rather than a spoon – sounds daft but it makes getting the shell/yolk out much easier.

Weigh out your caster sugar.

Whisk whites until stiff peaks form – I used an electric whisk – you can use a manual whisk but prepare for arm burning.

Slowly add sugar a couple of table spoons at a time and whisk. Keep doing this until all the sugar is combined and mixture is shiny and thick.

Add tsp of white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp of cocoa powder, finely chopped chocolate and 2 tsp of corn flour and gently fold through until combined.

Dollop mixture onto a baking sheet lined with grease proof paper, spread out into a round or oval (consider what you are serving the pav on and try to make the shape suit the serving dish). Remember the meringue will spread out a little bit so make it smaller than the serving dish.

Pop it in the oven and immediately reduce the temp to 140 degrees (fan forced).

Bake for 45 mins and then allow to cool in the oven. The centre should still be squidgy a little like a baked chocolate mousse.

Once cool remove from oven and pop onto serving dish flipping the meringue over so that the bottom side is up.

Whisk cream until soft peaks form and spread over the Pavlova, cover the top with raspberries and voila – joy on a plate!

You can grate a little chocolate over the top too or dust with icing sugar if you are feeling “creative”, I have also made these as individual small meringues which is great for a party – they do not need as much time in the oven – about 20 mins.

Just to say again – you have to try this recipe!!!!!

Lemon meringue pie – and oldie but a goodie!! This ones for you bro.

January 11, 2011

My brother-in-law is a little bit of a sweet tooth, actually he is a lot of a sweet tooth. His absolute favourite dessert is Lemon meringue pie (LMP as I prefer to call it). He loves it so much that I think he could turn violent if someone threatens to take a piece of “his” pie. It was his birthday last week so I decided to make his day by tackling the LMP. I have made plenty of lemon tarts and brulees and tons of meringues but never actually combined them to make an LMP (shock horror!) With a little bit of pre-pie research I decided to “wing it” and make it up as I went along. My research uncovered an excessive use of lemon curd for the filling – what’s that all about! I do love lemon curd but how much better is a lemon tart? This dessert does have a rather high “faff” factor but it is well worth it.

Ingredients

Pastry: See “Ginger and rhubarb brulee tart” for ingredients and method

Lemon filling:

4 lemons
350 mls cream
6 whole free range eggs
120 grams caster sugar

Meringue:

4 egg whites
280 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar

First things first follow the recipe from the “Ginger creme brulee tart” pastry case (only), bake it blind as per the recipe ensuring that there are no gaps in the pastry (if there are holes or gaps the filling will pour through and it will make a right mess of your oven).

While the pastry case is baking blind you can get the lemon filling prepared. Zest and juice 4 lemons and pop in a non reactive pan with the 120 grams of sugar. Warm through until sugar has dissolved then remove from heat. Heat the cream but do not boil.

Whisk the 6 eggs together until combined (not fluffy) in a large bowl.

Strain the lemon mix through a sieve into the eggs and whisk making sure to squeeze all the liquid out of the pulp/zest. Then add the cream and whisk through.

Drop the oven temp to 140 degrees Celsius once the pastry case has been removed.

Place pastry case (in loose bottom tin) onto a baking sheet and then fill with the lemon mix. Place in the oven and bake for 25 – 30 mins until set but not firm.

Once the lemon filling has set remove it from the oven – remember it will continue to cook in it’s own heat AND it is going back into the oven with the meringue on top so a little wobbly is good.

It is now time to whisk up the egg whites for the meringue. Make sure your bowl is spotlessly clean. It there is a scrap of oil the whites will not whisk properly.

Separate the eggs ensuring that you do not get any of the yolks in the bowl. Use an electric whisk (you can use a hand whisk but prepare to have a burning arm!). Whisk until soft peaks form then slowly add the 280 grams of caster sugar. The meringue mix should be shiny and thick. Once all the sugar has been whisked in fold in the teaspoon of vinegar.

You are now ready to pop this on top of the lemon tart. You don’t need to be delicate here – just get it on with a spatula. You can swoosh it around a bit to make some peaks which will crisp up when cooked.

Pop it in the oven and drop the temp down to 120 degrees.

Cook for a further 20 mins or so until the meringue is firm but not hard.

Let the pie cool in the oven with the door slightly a jar this will stop the meringue cracking up too much.

Voila you now have a delicious tooth rotter of a dessert – a good old LMP!!! It is great warm and cold and will last for a few days in the fridge (if Euan doesn’t eat it all in one go that is!)

Note: if you are feeling lazy you can use shop bought short crust pastry. I wouldn’t use the sweetened one as they are always too sweet and try to use an all butter one if you can.

Delicate and delicious strawberry pavlova (meringue is not difficult – I promise)

June 8, 2010

Stawberry pavlova

Meringue seems to send shivers up the spine of people who have not made it before. My brother-in-law LOVES meringue and keeps asking me to teach him how to make it. So here goes. All you need to remember is to be patient!! I usually wing it with my meringue recipes – approx 80 grms of sugar to each egg white a wee bit of vinegar and that’s it. However I was consulting my trusty “Cook’s Companion” cook book and Stephanie puts corn flour in hers so I thought why not give it a bash. AND just to let you know I will never look back!

Ingredients:

4 egg whites (large eggs)
240 grams caster sugar (I prefer to use the golden caster sugar rather than the white one)
2 teaspoons of cornflour
Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of white vinegar

Approx 750 grms of beautiful strawberries (or other berries)
Caster sugar
Liqueur (I used Cointreau)

500 mls double cream

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

First things first get a large ceramic or Pyrex bowl – no matter if you think it is clean wash it again with lots of hot soapy water. It is essential that there is no hint of oil in the bowl or on the whisk as it will stop the egg whites from whisking properly.

Separate the eggs and add the egg whites to the bowl (making sure there is absolutely no egg yolk). Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, add in the sugar table-spoon at a time and whisk. The egg whites should become shiny and the silky looking. Add a teaspoon of white vinegar, two teaspoons of cornflour and a splash of vanilla extract (about 1 teaspoon) and fold through the whisked egg.

Put some baking paper onto a baking sheet and dollop the meringue onto the baking paper making a rough circle approx 20 cm diameter. Try to ensure that it is quite even.

Pop it straight into the oven and reduce the heat to 150 degrees Celsius. Cook for 30 mins. Reduce heat to 120 degrees and cook for another 45 mins.

(if you have a fan assisted oven reduce the temps by about 5 degrees each time)

Cool in the oven. This is really important as it reduces the likely hood of the meringue cracking (it will still crack a bit but not too badly).

While this is all happening finely slice the strawberries and put in a glass or ceramic bowl. Add a tablespoon of caster sugar and a slash of liqueur of your choice. Pop in the fridge to macerate.

Whisk double cream with a dessert spoon of caster sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extra – whisk to soft peaks. Do not over whisk.

Once meringue is cool place upside down on a serving plate (so that you have a nice even base) dollop the cream over the top then spoon over the strawberries.

Strawberry pavlova

Serve immediately (6 large portions or 8 “normal” portions)