Cakes & Bakes
Marbled Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringues inspired by Lisa Faulkner
Today the weather was pretty grim. It basically rained all day long. It was not much fun doing the school run and I almost made the decision to skip after school ballet as I just wanted to stay dry. But I managed to sum up the motivation and you’ll be glad to hear that we did all make it to ballet in the end. Some days, (like today) I actually lose count of the amount of times I lift my youngest in and out of the car. Luckily, he seems to enjoy tagging along with his big sisters and is pretty laid back. No doubt this is probably a result if being a third child and having to fit into the daily circus that is life in our household. My Giddy Aunt (she’s not really giddy, that’s just what we used to call her as kids) came to visit last week. It was lovely to see her, but I do hope she will visit again. I fear that we may have scared her off!! It must have been very loud and hectic here in comparison to normal life at home for her in the picturesque village of Melmerby in Cumbria.
I do get my evenings though and they are my sanctuary. Peace and quiet with no one demanding my attention is bliss. I normally have lots of accumulated jobs to do but I will make sure there is also time for a few guilty pleasures. Maybe a hot bath with lots of bubbles, (door locked obviously in case anyone is not quite asleep), a glass of red with crackers and Roquefort, baking and then eating said baking, catching up on sky+ (tv is so rare for me these days) and reading blogs, baking magazines and cookbooks in bed! So rock and roll I know, but that is what I love.
Talking of cookbooks, the new random recipe challenge from Dom over at Bellau Kitchen is to pick book number 17! Well I’ve got to say, that’s about as random as it gets Dom, (and Choclette) but 17 might have to be my new lucky number because my latest cookbook purchase turned out to be my number 17! It might have rained all day today but this was really lucky because I love my new cookbook so much and am thrilled to be able to share a snippet with you.
It is Recipes From My Mother For My Daughter by Lisa Faulkner. Lisa who won celebrity Masterchef in 2010 is someone I admire greatly. I’d be lying if I did not admit to being a wee bit jealous of her too. When her cookbook arrived I sat for ages looking through it and just dreamed of a day when I could create a cookbook like that too. It’s beautiful! But you will see if you get the chance that Lisa has worked so hard for her success. At the start of the book there is a wonderful narrative where she opens up about what she calls her ‘food journey’. She talks of the inspiration her mother gave her and about times in her life when baking helped her through. I felt privileged to read it, and for me it makes the book even more special. It is a marvelous collection of seasonal recipes, each one with a special meaning to Lisa. Some are her take on everyday classics like macaroni cheese, and others are suitable to serve at your next dinner party. In fact, I’m going to make Lisa’s lemon sole fillets with shrimp butter on Saturday for friends who are coming over. There is also a few gorgeous looking cakes to try which will satisfy those baking mad types…me!
For this blog post I have been inspired by Lisa’s hazelnut meringues which can be found on page 187 of the book. I know this will mean a few sweet blog posts in a row, but I just thought why not and I have a nice savory one planned for next week. I willingly took Lisa’s advice where she writes; “I want you to experiment with these recipes, try them, substitute ingredients, posh them up, dress them down.” and have come up with Marbled Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringues. So thank you Lisa, here it is, and I can safely say that I really enjoyed it!
Changes I have made from Lisa’s recipe include lowering the amount of sugar and chopped hazelnut as I felt that not as much of either was needed, but then I always try recipes with less sugar. I have also added cocoa powder to create the chocolate marble flavour and effect.
What you will need:
- 4 egg whites
- 200g caster sugar
- 75g toasted chopped hazelnuts
- 1.5 tbsp of cocoa powder
- 250ml double cream
Makes approx 8 sandwiched meringues
How to make:
- Preheat your oven to 140c/275f/gas 1 and line 2 baking trays with non stick baking paper
- Put 50g (save the other 25g for when the meringues are assembled after cooking) of your hazelnuts in a food processor and whiz until they are chopped up as small as possible.
- Whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form then add the sugar bit by bit and keep whisking until the meringue has stiff peaks
- Use a large metal spoon to fold in your finely chopped hazelnuts
- Now sieve your cocoa powder into the meringue and fold again but this time only do 3 or 4 turns with the spoon s o that a marbled effect is created
- Now use a smaller spoon to create small balls of meringue on the baking tray and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon
- Place in the oven for 1 hour and then turn off the oven and let the meringue sit in the oven until it cool completely. These are quite good to cook in the evening and leave them to cool in the oven over night
- When you are ready to make the meringues up, whip the double cream in an electric mixer until it forms soft peaks. Keep you eye on it as it is very easy to over whip and be left with a bowl of clumpy cream
- Then spread cream onto the flat slide of one of the meringues and sprinkle with a few of the chopped hazelnuts that you saved from putting into the food processor and then sandwich a second meringue on top. Continue until you have sandwiched all the meringues together
The other great news is because meringue stars with ‘M’ I can also enter into this months Alphabakes blog challenge run by Caroline from Caroline Makes and is shared Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker. Love this challenge so thrilled to enter again.