Wednesday, 28 April 2010

ottolenghi meringues

we had some old friends for supper last week, they are great old friends, people who have seen us through the good times and the bad, the best type of friends, they type that you don't feel you have to try with, they are just easy company. I always think that when I am trying super hard - especially with cooking it always comes out wrong, you can cook something that you regularly throw together in minutes, but put in lots of extra effort and it never tastes as good as when you fling it together with little regard. Anyway because I knew we would be out all day I put a piece of Gloucester old spot pork into roast on a low temperature for 5 hours, and made Ottolengi meringues in the morning. It was all so effortless that I even had time to set the table before they arrived!!!!

Anyway the meringues were an absolute triumph (the pork is a regular fixture so i wasn't so excited by it!!) From now on this is the only way i will make meringues. The recipe comes from one of my favourite, favourite cookbooks 'Ottolenghi the cookbook', you can buy it here.
You do need a freestanding mixer for this, eg a kitchen aid or a kenwood, but i guess you could do it with an electric whisk.
It is hard to give an exact recipe because the book says 10 egg whites - which would make a catering size batch, so I scaled down and worked it by weight.
So, if you are making it for 4-6 people you probably need 4 egg whites, separate the eggs and weigh the whites, (i know it seems an unusual way to proceed!) in a separate bowl weigh out double the amount of sugar I used half and half of golden caster sugar and soft light brown sugar - i never use white sugar for meringues because I like that slight caramel taste that brown sugar gives. So if you have
100g egg whites you need 200g sugar. put the sugar on a baking tray (line it with a silicone liner or greaseproof first - less washing up!!) and put it in a hot oven for about 8mins. put the whites in the bowl of the mixer and start to whisk. gently add the hot sugar and whisk on high for about 5-10mins. The mixture will become really glossy and very thick. Turn the oven down to about 110. Now you can go very gourmet and add a flavour or colour, i used a mixture of cocoa and waitrose hot chocolate powder (I am sure the lovely folks at ottolengi would shudder!!) but crushed pistachios, flaked almonds, toasted crushed up hazelnuts would also be good - put a layer of whatever you choose on a flat plate.
Get 2 big spoons and pick up a big blob of meringue on one and gently roll it over the plate of cocoa (or whatever), use the other spoon to help you, then dob it onto a big baking sheet covered with a non stick liner (homebargins 79p - cannot live without them) they need quite a bit of space as they expand a bit, keep going till you have used up your mix, then bake for about 2hours (i only Left mine in 1 1/2). leave to cool in the turned off oven and revel in the delight that your whole house smells of a patisserie!! top with cream and fruit pavlova style!
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  1. oooh they sound heavenly. I always use Nigella's recipe for pavlova, but I might have to try this xxx

  2. do give it a go, they are fab. i made them again last night and dobbed them into a mix of toasted flaked almonds, cocoa and brown sugar. they were divine! - all scoffed though before i got chance to do a picture!

  3. Ok so these have just gone into the oven... Fingers crossed. they looked greatgoing in. I just hope they stay that way through out hte cooking process... I added coffee to mine for a little extra zing....

  4. Sarah this recipe is fab, I hope you dont mind I have this link to my Blog



  5. Does anyone know the temperature these meringues are baked at? Unless I'm having a blonde day, I don't see it mentioned in the instructions.

    Thanks, V.

  6. From another site instructions for first step:Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas Mark 5 and the reduced temperature 130°C/110°C Fan/Gas Mark ¾