05/03/2011

Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice

breaking the eggs...
..resembling a "fluffy cloud," with stiff peaks..
..thick & glossy..
..snow drift..
..into the oven..
to effect my very own french patisserie in my living room, one dreary saturday afternoon..
This past week I was attracted to some rather huge meringues from the Southbank Centre: the Riverside Cafe at the Royal Festival Hall. Food here is often tasty, though overpriced & a little trendy. Originality scores high however: prunes with cold & creamy rice puddings in the summer, meringues flavoured with pomegranate, or candied orange peel...  - now, there's the rub. The flavours are great, & aesthetically, the meringues look lovely & GInormous (I love that this isn't a word, but it's so right here!), but they're too large to execute perfection. To my taste, meringues need to be predominantly crumbly & flaky, with a little chewiness in the middle - the CHEW to the Riverside meringues was overwhelming! Here, I have created meringues that have a little chew, but more crunch...

based on a recipe discovered here

Recipe Card:

~ 4 eggs
~ 115g caster sugar
~ 115g icing sugar
~ cream of tartar, a pinch
~ red & blue food colouring (optional)
~ toasted, flaked almonds (optional)

~ preheat oven to 180c, line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
~ tip 4 egg whites into a bowl & whisk until it forms stiff peaks - I whisk by hand (a little effort & love goes a long way!)
~ add the caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time. When ready, the mixture should be thick & glossy.
~ sift a third of the icing sugar into the mixture & fold in with a wooden spoon, then follow with the rest of the icing sugar, sifted in thirds. It should now resemble snowy loveliness...
~ add a pinch of tartar & fold into the mix.
~ split between 2 bowls & add a drop of food colouring to each. Red colouring will make pink meringues, but add very slowly - i pour some colouring into the bottle lid & then drop it in by blotting onto a fingertip & then shaking over the mixture. Next time around however, I will be more generous with the blue, as these turned out slightly anemic looking from too little colouring..
~ scoop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheets, scatter with toasted amonds, & then place in the oven, AFTER now reducing the oven heat to 110c.
~ bake for approx. 1hr, then turn the oven off, leaving the meringues to take in a little more heat for 15 minutes.
~ remove from the oven & cool on a wire rack.

{photos by me}

3 comments:

Emily Anne said...

They look delicious!! I think I may have to try that recipe so thanks for posting :)

Cheap T's and Umbrellas said...

omg that looks so yummy, check out my blog its all about fashion and beauty products.

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Katie said...

thanks! yes emily, i would definitely recommend the recipe, it was so easy to follow, & the first time i've made meringues! (i've now become obsessed with wanting to try them again in lots of pretty colours!)

katie x

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