Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cinnamon and Hazelnut Meringue

For some reason, we seem to make more recipes that use egg yolks than egg whites - creme brulee, pot de creme, and rich mousses. We, however, dutifully save the egg whites in the freezer. Of course, this has the unfortunate side effect of growing out of control with two freezer containers now dedicated to egg whites. We made a deal that we couldn't try a lovely recipe I found for lavender chocolate pot de cremes until the egg white situation got a little more under control. Luckily, Ottolenghi had the solution with meringue recipes. In one swoop, I used up a container of egg whites! And oh yes, even better, these are delicious. The brown sugar gives it a richer flavor than what you would expect in a meringue. This one's a little extra effort than some other meringues, but well worth the extra step for the smoother texture and depth of flavor.

One year ago: Imperial Potatoes
Two years ago: Grilled Chicken with a Cashew-Tomato Sauce
Three years ago: Black Radish Soup in Roasted Acorn Squash
Four years ago: Caramel Apple Blackout Cake
Five years ago: Raspberry-Topped Lemon Muffins

Cinnamon and Hazelnut Meringue (from Ottolenghi)

200g egg whites (about 7)
260g caster sugar (I used regular)
140g dark brown muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
30g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 225F.
2. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a light simmer.
3. Place egg whites and both sugars in a heatproof bowl large enough to sit on top of the pan (my Kitchenaid mixer bowl works just fine for this).
4. Put bowl over simmering water, making sure it doesn't touch the water and leave it there for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture is quite hot (~40C) and sugars have dissolved. (I found the temperature hit 40 far sooner than 10 minutes, but it still needed a bit longer to dissolve.)
5. Whip egg whites on high using a freestanding electric mixer for 8 minutes or until mix has cooled completely and is firm and glossy.
6. Sprinkle cinnamon over the meringue and use a rubber spatula to fold in gently.
7. Line a flat baking try with parchment. Plop meringues on top, shaping into medium-size apples with spikes (or you can just make one giant meringue). Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
8. Place in oven and bake 1 1/4 - 2 hours depending on the size of your meringue (even longer if you opted for giant meringue). Remove from oven and let cool.

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