Making a superb alternative ‘afters’ to traditional Christmas pudding, meringue is extremely easy to make and can be made well in advance of the big day.
8 egg whites
450g castor sugar
200g of raspberries/blackberries/red and black currants (or any fruit you have to hand)
300g of double or whipping cream
100g of dark chocolate
25g of flaked almonds, toasted
Mixed berries coulis
100g of frozen mixed berries
20g of castor sugar (or granulated)
6 tbsp of water
Dawn: Meringues look the most decadent pud when ‘dressed for the occasion’!
Andrew: Don’t they just?! And can keep for up to six weeks which is excellent for planning ahead.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 1, 140 °C electric.
- Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk or food processor while gradually adding the castor sugar.
- The egg whites and castor sugar will start to combine to become white, opaque and fluffy.
- When the mixture is stiff, perky peeks will be formed enabling you can turn the bowl upside down with the mixture remaining inside.
Dawn: Now’s the fun part!
- Scoop the breath-takingly gorgeous mixture out on to a lined ovenproof baking tray. Either mound or nest the meringue mixture into equal sized portions.
- Place the baking tray in the centre of the preheated oven and cook for about one hour on this gentle heat.
Andrew: How will I know when the meringues are cooked, Dawn?
Dawn: I go by look: are they golden brown in colour yet? And by touch with a gentle squeeze. If they’re ‘bouncy’ in touch, they’re cooked and ready to cool .
Andrew: And you can add a little ‘zing’ to their flavours by slightly sprinkling a little cinnamon or nutmeg on them before cooking.
Dawn: Yummy! Yes, either spice will make a tasty alternative flavour, Andrew. Good idea.
- Once the meringues are cool, they can either be stored in an airtight container and will last for up to six weeks or they can be decorated.
Dawn: Decorating! “Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la!”…but I digress! Yes, time to decorate these shiny, glistening peeks of gooey loveliness. And again, you’re only limited by your imagination in how you do this.
Andrew: What have you used here, Dawn? They look fit for a King!
Dawn: Why, thank you, Andrew. They do look rather ‘regal’, don’t they? And so easy to do! I’ve lightly crushed the top of each peek and added a tablespoon of the cream, topped with a mixture of raspberries, blackberries, black and redcurrants. Over the top of each meringue, I’ve melted the dark chocolate and drizzled this runny yumminess over each peek and then dusted with icing sugar. The ‘look’ is completed with a smattering of the roasted flaked almonds on each.
Andrew: You’ve used dark chocolate but can any chocolate be used?
Dawn: I’ve used dark to give a flavour contrast to the sweetness of the meringue, Andrew and yes, any chocolate can be used. It’s really down to individual taste.
Andrew: And each peek sits within a river of mixed berries coulis, speaking of which the recipe follows on here:
- Place the berries, sugar and water in a saucepan and lightly heat until the berries are soft and the sugar is dissolved.
- Next, heat the berries until boiling away and the mixture thickens.
- Now, press the berries through a fine sieve and the remaining pulp can be frozen to use in our Perfect Pancakes‘ recipe.
Dawn: When chilled, simply drizzle the coulis around each fruit filled laden peek and hey presto! A beautiful pudding!
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