I made a Womantic meal for the Boyfriend about a week ago, for no particular reason apart from I can’t remember the last time I cooked steak or when we ate at the table without the excuse of having guests… The scene was set – classic smoked salmon with lemon juice preceded steak and chips with home-made béarnaise, then a simple pudding of meringues that I dyed pink just to make him cringe at the corny romantic-ness of the whole thing.
Here is where I confess that I have never actually successfully made meringues using the traditional method. I didn’t actually know that one is supposed to put cornflour into the mix until last week. I tend to use Delia’s method of just egg whites and sugar. As I had a couple of egg whites left after making the béarnaise I thought it rude not to make meringues.
Makes about 10 or 12 meringues
For the meringues
2 egg whites
70g Caster Sugar
3 drops of red food colouring (if you want to make them pink)
For the filling
150ml Double Cream
3 heaped tbsp Icing sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees
- In a VERY clean bowl whisk the egg whites (make sure no shell has crept into the mixture) to soft peaks – this is the point where you could hold a bowl upside-down and the mix will not fall out, don’t over-whisk them otherwise they will begin to fall apart
- Whisk in the caster sugar in 3 batches, you will see the mix gradually become shiny
- Between batch 2 and batch 3 add in the drops of food colouring then continue to whisk in the third batch of sugar
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper taking care to have the shiny / smoother side upwards
- Spoon several blobs onto the sheet leaving a space between each blob, just in case you did what I did and didn’t whisk it quite enough so they slightly collapse
- Pop the tray into the oven and bake for about an hour
- Turn the oven down to 140 degrees
- While the meringues are cooking, whisk up the cream
- Once it is stiff add the icing sugar
- Cover and set aside until just before serving
- Take the meringues out and cool on a metal rack (or an upside down pizza tray if you haven’t got a metal rack)
- To serve – pop a large dollop of the whipped cream mixture onto the base of a meringue, splot another meringue onto the cream and voila.
It’ll resemble a large macaroon and should be intensely sweet so although it’s not the largest of puddings one will be enough to please any boyfriends or friends with the sweetest teeth!