Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Toasted Oat and Chocolate Meringues

Last weekend I paid a visit to my parents' house in Surrey. While there, I found a bowl of egg whites in the fridge.

They were actually leftover from me making custard to go in a trifle over Christmas and surprise surprise, my parents hadn't done anything with them, despite mother making vague comments about meringue.

I decided it was a perfect opportunity to whip up a meringue (and a blog post), which is exactly what I did. I baked my meringue flat, broke it up and used it in an Eton mess, but there are a number if things you could do with meringues. You could pipe them in decorative swirls using a piping bag and star-shaped nozzle. You could make tiny meringues and sandwich them together with a little bit of chocolate on the flat sides.

I'm also a fan of adding things to meringues - a dash of colour, a sprinkling of chopped nuts on top or a few streaks of melted chocolate. So I folded toasted porridge oats and dark chocolate into my meringue for added flavour and texture. 

This recipe made enough meringue for one full-sized Eton mess and three small ones:

You will need:
340g caster sugar
4 egg whites
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
100g porridge oats

1. Preheat the oven to 140C and spread a baking sheet with the porridge oats. 

2. Once the oven has preheated, put the oats in and toast them for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 130C. Put the egg whites in a large, clean bowl and whisk until they reach stiff peaks, adding the caster sugar gradually as you do.

3. While whipping the meringue, put the chocolate into a bowl above a barely simmering pan of water until melted. Fold the oats into the meringue, reserving some to sprinkle on top of the meringues if you are piping them decoratively. Add the chocolate and fold it in partially so that the meringue mixture is streaked with chocolate.

4. Pipe or spread the meringue onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 2 hours.

5. After 2 hours, turn off the oven but leave the meringue in the cooling oven for as long as possible - it will continue cooking in the residual heat.

There you have it - a way to use up leftover egg whites. If you just want to make a normal meringue you can omit the chocolate and oats and you'll have the beginnings of a decent dessert with just two ingredients. Toss a bit of fruit and cream on and you've got a pavlova. Or maul the meringue beforehand and you've got an Eton mess.

I took my dessert to a poker night and beat all my friends. I like to think it was because they were distracted by my divine dessert.

It was most likely luck, actually, I'm terrible at poker.

Bye bye now,


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