Ultimate Baby Meringues, Clouds of Cream & Hazelnut Praline

I used to make huge pavlovas for supper parties (remember those?!) as they look impressive and taste divine (is there a better combination than freshly whipped cream and light as a feather meringue?). Well yes, there is, just add hazelnut praline!

Nowadays I make baby meringues which keep well in an airtight tin and, served with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream, are really handy as an instant sweet treat after weekday suppers.

Hazelnut praline is easy to make and sooooo delish! It makes a great addition, when broken up, to the whipped cream in the middle of the baby meringues.

Ultimate Baby Meringues, Clouds of Cream & Hazelnut Praline

Recipe by BBC GoodFood Magazine, tried & tasted by GraceCourse: Sweet Treats
Servings

6

servings

Makes 12 – 16 meringues.

Ingredients

  • 4 large organic free range egg whites at room temperature

  • 115g caster sugar

  • 115g icing sugar

  • For the hazelnut praline: 50g caster sugar, 50g hazelnuts

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to fan 100C/ conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4. Line 2 baking sheets with Bake-O-Glide non-stick liner or parchment paper (meringue can stick on greaseproof paper and foil).
  • Tip the 4 large egg whites into a large clean mixing bowl (not plastic). Beat them on medium speed with an electric hand whisk until the mixture resembles a fluffy cloud and stands up in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted.
  • Now turn the speed up and start to add 115g caster sugar, a dessertspoonful at a time. Continue beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition. It’s important to add the sugar slowly at this stage as it helps prevent the meringue from weeping later. However, don’t over-beat. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy.
  • Sift one third of the 115g icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a big metal spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the remaining icing sugar a third at a time. Again, don’t over-mix. The mixture should now look smooth and billowy, almost like a snow drift.
  • Scoop up a heaped dessertspoonful of the mixture. Using another dessertspoon, ease it on to the baking sheet to make an oval or round shape, whatever you prefer. Bake for 75 -105 mins until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath and are a pale coffee colour. Leave to cool on the trays or a cooling rack. Serve two meringues sandwiched together with a generous dollop of softly whipped double cream.

Cook’s Tip

  • The meringues will now keep in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for a month
  • You can use the left over egg yolks by adding another couple of whole eggs and scrambling with butter, salt & pepper (ie no milk) until they are just starting to solidify, then pour onto toast. Absolutely yum on a Sunday morning and probably the reason I am ever so slightly overweight. But happy.
Ultimate baby meringues & hazelnut praline  How to make hazelnut praline, Annabel and Grace magazine

To make the hazelnut praline warm a small heavy-based pan over a medium heat and cook the caster sugar until it melts and turns a rich caramel colour – don’t panic if it seems to take a while, but do watch the pan as it will suddenly liquidise. Carefully swirl the hazelnuts around the pan (be careful, the sugar is very hot) and allow them to caramelise and brown – about 2 mins. Pour the mixture out onto a tray lined with baking paper. Leave to cool. Finely chop and add to the cream mixture before sandwiching two of the meringues together.

Lots more sweet treats on the Annabel & Grace website. Just click here.