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Meringues and Pavlovas, after the fact

by on February 7, 2010
 

of failed Macs

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I’ve never made meringues, but with my leftover egg whites from my Mac disaster, I decided to try them, not much to lose.

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As it happened, I was on Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, reading about Sherry Trifles and swirly meringues….so I didn’t need to search further for a recipe.

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All went well and I now have the confidence to shun store-bought meringues…for life.

I ♥ them:

They decorate well. How’s this for a ghoulish Halloween meringue? All that was required was a cocktail stick dipped in black food colouring – my second mate (daughter #2), who helped me make these was in 7th heaven…..

IMG_2415Especially when it came to making the pink swirls – trust girls and all things pink!

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Did I mention that they freeze well once baked? I have a whole ziploc ready for Eton Mess and more…soon!


As daughter #1 says ‘it goes great, crushed on chocolate chip icecream’.

For me, the ultimate is forming the base of a pavlova!!!!

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Really, it is a super long list. One I’m glad I wrote.

I had 180g of egg whites (from a carton) which equates to roughly 6 egg whites (@ about 30g per white), and all the meringue recipes I read said 50 – 6o g of sugar per egg white. In my case that was 300g (@50g per white), to which I stirred in  1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla powder.

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I whisked my egg whites in my food processor till stiff and then started adding the sugar by the tablespoonful, ensuring each addition was incorporated before adding the next.  By the time I was done, the mixture was thick and glossy.

IMG_2396I proceeded to drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto my silicone baking sheets, placed on regular baking sheets.

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I love the way the meringues assumed a form….all of their own.

IMG_2402For a few test meringues, I dipped a wooden skewer into some liquid food colouring and then gently swirled that around the uncooked meringue. I ♥ the way they look. Again.

IMG_2420Then I went on to make a few ‘nests’ for my pavlova, using a cooking spoon this time to dish it out. Then I swirled a tablespoon in the centre to create a depression.

IMG_2408I put my two trays one on top the other in the oven and reduced the temperature to 110C (230F).  I left the meringues to bake for about 75 minutes, till they were light and crisp.

IMG_2427I then allowed them dry completely by leaving the oven door slightly ajar, held that way by a wooden cooking spoon….macaron-style.

IMG_2565I couldn’t wait for hours though till all that drying was done….and so I had one right away. As did daughter #1 and daughter #2 and son#1 (and last!) with unanimous approval…..Light, crisp, crunchy shell…..protecting a chewy, sweet and scented base…

IMG_2563Eventually, they were ready to be kept away/decorated and I stashed some in the deep freezer for some vanilla meringue icecream….coming soon.

I kept the nests for making pavlovas.

I got out one,  placed a thick mixture of lightly whisked creme fraiche and regular cream and topped with some fruit.

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And then I sat back, and smiled! Realising that the English and the Aussies have more in common than they think…..

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Pavlovas – constructed meringue dessert, with cream and fruit – Australian.

Eton Mess – deconstructed meringue dessert, with cream and fruit – English.


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Of course, that’s all by the way side….just thought to let you know.

I stood up and enjoyed this like no man’s business!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMG_2941I didn’t even need the mint garnish…


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Though I have to say the taste was exquisite! Next time, I would love to top the fruit with some basil or lemon melisse sugar….especially with strawberries!

Hmmmm, *sigh*…of enjoyment and satisfaction. Maybe I should stick with these…instead of macs….! But…..

IMG_3018…. I think not!