Monthly Archives: November 2013

Large Raspberry or Chocolate Meringues

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Large Raspberry or Chocolate Meringues

It’s bake-off time again at work, and I wanted to make something different to the usual cupcakes that most people roll out every year. It’s taken three attempts to get this meringue recipe right, but I think I’ve finally cracked it! My own recipe but based heavily on The Meringue Girls and Ottolenghi’s techniques. See here for the meringue girls website. And check out their videos in YouTube – they’re really helpful. They are my new girl crush. Both of them! And this article in the guardian is also full of great advice.

6 egg whites
Caster sugar (double the weight of your egg whites)
Dried raspberries
50g fresh raspberries for purée
100g fresh raspberries for decoration
Double cream for sandwiching together

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
– Separate the egg whites and weigh them
– Double this figure and weigh out that amount of caster sugar (in my case my eggs weighed 200g so I had 400g sugar)
– Put the egg whites in a food mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk until stuff peaks. I tried this with an electric hand whisk and it’s much harder work, and the results weren’t as light and fluffy. Using a food mixer makes all the difference in the world!
– Line a deep baking tray with grease proof paper and pour in the sugar, spreading evenly over the bottom. Put the tray in the oven.

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– Wait until the sugar is hot and the edges are beginning to caramelise.

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– Turn down the oven to 80 degrees (or lower If you can) and remove the sugar.
– Turn the food mixer back on and add the sugar a spoon at a time to the mixture, allowing each spoon to incorporate fully. The warm sugar will dissolve more quickly and create a lovely shiny mixture.
– Continue to mix until the meringue is shiny and thick and if you dip your finger in and rub it together with your thumb the mix should be warm and not grainy. It should hold its shape if you take a spoonful and not be runny (otherwise you will get flat meringues like these)

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– In the meantime, crush the dried raspberries with a spoon so they are little lumps (not powder), and blitz the 50g of fresh raspberries with a hand blender, then push through a sieve to make a smooth purée.

– Take the bowl off the mixer and gently fold in the dried raspberries.
Spoon generous helpings of the mix onto baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper. I used a serving spoon; choose a spoon that corresponds to the size of the meringues you want to make. I made 18 medium meringues with the intention of sandwiching them together.

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– Drizzle over a little purée onto each meringue.

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– Then swirl with a cocktail stick (I used a wooden kebab skewer) to mix in slightly. The purée will darken and thicken as it bakes.

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-Bake for around two hours. The idea is to slowly dry them. I then turned the oven off and left them in there to go completely cold. If you don’t like them sticky in the middle , bake for longer. When you turn them over they should be crisp on the bottom. No soggy bottoms here.
– Whisk the cream and use it to sandwich the meringues together, using the fresh raspberries as garnish.
– Eat quickly before everyone else gets their hands on them.

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– To make chocolate meringues, replace the dried raspberry with 50g of chopped dark chocolate ( and fold it in gently). 

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– And instead of the raspberry purée, sift a small amount of cocoa over the bowl of meringue, but don’t fold it in.

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– Put spoonfuls of the meringue in a baking tray

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– and bake as above.
Delicious!

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I tried a new version of these chocolate ones today. I added in a tsp of orange essence, made the chocolate more chunky and barely folded it in. I also sifted the cocoa directly over the meringues instead of into the bowl. 

The meringues are whiter because the chocolate hasn’t melted so much and mixed in the mixture. 


Oh my god, they are amazing! The chocolate is still in chunks (it melted into the mix previously) and you can really taste the Orange. It’s like a Terry’s chocolate orange meringue! I’m going to eat them with the raspberry ice cream I made earlier this week (recipe here).  

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Spicy Pumpkin Chutney

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I had a large pumpkin kicking around from Halloween that didn’t get carved. Casting around for something to do with it (and not being a lover of pumpkin pie), I stumbled across this recipe. I think it’s based in a Nigella recipe.

I had way more pumpkin than they state on the recipe, so I kind of adapted it.

– 2.3kg of pumpkin (after being peeled and seeds removed), chopped into 2cm square cubes
– 4 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped
– 3 onions, chopped
– 3 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
– 700g sugar (I used a mix of brown and white because I didn’t have enough brown)
– 100g sultanas (that’s all I had, could do with more)
– 70g fresh ginger, grated
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp chilli powder
– 1 tsp ground cloves (original recipe had more, but I’m not a fan of cloves)
900ml cider vinegar

It’s pretty simple to make. Chop everything up, chuck it all in a pan and simmer until it’s all mushy. This amount took about 90 minutes.

Pack it into sterilised jars (I wash mine in the dishwasher then dry them in the oven at 150 degrees). Push it down to get rid of air bubbles. This amount made nine 1/2lb jars.

As with all chutneys it’s best to leave it for a while to mature. I will try a jar at Christmas (1 month) and see how it’s getting on.

It should be fine kept for about a year unopened. And I keep my chutney in the fridge once it’s opened.

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