January 16, 2010

Mini Meringues with hazelnuts and chocolate

Mini meringues with hazelnuts and choc 1

 

MUNCH RATING: 5/5

 

Today on Saturday Kitchen James Martin made a variety of meringues, so I decided to make this Matt Tebbutt recipe that I’d pulled out of BBC Good Food magazine recently as I had loads of egg whites stashed in the freezer. The recipe posted on the Good Food Channel website has some errors, so I’ve copied it from my magazine.

 

CHANGES TO THE RECIPE:

Matt sandwiched his meringues together with cream, but I’m not a huge fan of cream so I’ve left them as they are. These meringues are incredibly light and crispy, but they still have a little bit of chewiness to them (not as chewy as a Pavlova meringue – for that you need to add cornflour or white vinegar).

 

The combination of chocolate and hazelnuts compliments the sweetness of the meringue and it reminded me of Ferrero Rocher.

 

Mini meringues with hazelnuts and choc 3

They were really easy to make but they look quite impressive. I like the little peaks on the top and they actually made it easier to dip into the chocolate and nuts as I had something to hold onto! Mini meringues with hazelnuts and choc 2

 

  • Makes: 24 individual ones or 12 if sandwiched with cream
  • Oven temperature: Gas ¼/225°F/100°C (we have a gas Rangemaster oven, so I set it to halfway between ‘S’ and 1)
  • You will need:  2 baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper/silicone

 

Ingredients:

  • 50g shelled and skinned hazelnuts, toasted
  • 3 egg whites
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 75g dark chocolate, chopped (I used 100g)
  • 180ml double cream (optional)
  • 1 tsp icing sugar (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 100C/80C fan/gas ¼.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
  3. Put the nuts into a food processor and whizz until finely chopped, taking care not to over-process them.
  4. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they resemble stiff peaks.
  5. Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, to form a thick glossy meringue. (A good test is to turn your bowl upside down – the meringue is ready if it doesn’t fall out!).
  6. Using a teaspoon (I used a melon baller) spoon 24 small heaps of meringue onto the baking paper. Bake for about 1 hour or until crisp. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
  7. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (or in the microwave). 
  8. Dip the flat side of each meringue in the chocolate and then into the chopped hazelnuts. Leave to set on a wire rack (or back onto the baking paper, chocolate side up!). 
  9. Whip the cream with the icing sugar until thickened, then use to sandwich the meringues together.

 

COOK’S NOTES:

  • I used 100g of chocolate and this was just enough to coat all the meringues and I was literally scraping the bottom of the bowl!
  • I had to swap my 2 trays around in the oven halfway through cooking so that they cooked evenly.

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