I started to think I had some sort of love affair with meringue. I love its sweetness and delicate crisp texture that melts in the mouth.
Apart from my biggest love affair with Macaron (the almond meringue cookie), I also love Pavlova; Australian (or New Zealander?, the argument is an ongoing one on who actually can claim the title) famous Summer dessert.
I have made macarons way too many times and Pavlova quite a number of times but strangely enough, I have never made meringue. I mean pure meringue, little kisses kind of meringue just on its own. I was thinking about it and looking for the recipe few times but never feel motivated enough to make it. I think some recipes also make it too complicated as well and it was kind of put me off. For example, one of the recipes I came across suggested baking the meringue at really low temperature (around 100C – 120C) for hours and leaving them to dry for hours after that for the perfect crisp smooth texture.
My new baking book, Dan Lepard’s Exceptional Cake has a meringue recipe that intrigued me. It employed different technique with the meringue. Instead of gradually mixing sugar into the egg white (French way) or hot sugar syrup into egg white (Italian way), the recipe suggested dissolving sugar with egg whites in a bowl set over simmering water. It’s quite interesting technique. It’s probably not new or unique in anyway. I just never came across it. It’s sort of a cross between Italian and French meringue technique.
The technique delivered impressive glossy stiff whipped egg white.. It gave better structure and stiffer egg white than the French technique (though not as stiff and glossy as Italian’s) and was less complicated than the Italian technique, i.e. you don’t need to boil sugar syrup until it’s reaching soft ball stage and you don’t need thermometer to measure the syrup temperature. It also made me curious about using this meringue technique with macarons.
Dan Lepard’s original recipe includes flake almonds in the meringue which was omitted from my bake. I also adjusted the recipe a little by adding rosewater flavour and make the sizes smaller, much smaller. I find delicate rosewater (and floral flavour), go well with meringue.
The meringue was nice just on its own. It was a little sweet but it was good sugar fix with a bite or two. It also made fabulous dessert. I made them into rosewater-raspberry fool; crush meringue with whipped cream and raspberry coulis. It was an easy and heavenly dessert. Meringue can also be made in advance and is kept well for about a week or so, which makes them great choice for dinner party, less cooking to do on the day.
Rosewater Meringues Recipe
adapted from Exceptional Cakes (Baker & Spice)
Make approx 40 meringues (depending on sizes)
115 g egg white (about 4 egg whites)
225 g caster sugar (super fine sugar)
1 tablespoon rosewater essence
Few drops red colouring liquid (optional)
Preheat oven to 150c. Line two baking trays with non stick baking paper or mats.
Put the egg whites and sugar in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is quite warm to the touch.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whip the egg white mixture on high speed until it is thick, glossy, stiff peak (when it can hold its shape when lifted) and cool. It will take between 10 - 15 minutes.
Mix through the rosewater essence and coloring liquid using low-medium speed.
Fill the meringue mixture into piping bag fitted with star or 1-cm round nozzles. Pipe about 2-cm kiss shapes onto baking trays.
Reduce oven temperature to 120C. Bake meringue for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues to cool completely in the oven before removing.
To make rosewater raspberry fool, roughly break meringues into pieces. Mix through raspberry coulis and whipped cream.
|Easy and heavenly dessert, Rosewater Raspberry Fool|