Meringue Nests for Petit Mont Blancs
To make the Petits Monts Blancs for New Year's Eve.
|For the meringues:|
|2 large egg whites|
|4 oz (110 g) white caster sugar|
|For the filling:|
|9 oz (250 g) mascarpone|
|7 fl oz (200 ml) 8 per cent fat fromage frais|
|1 rounded dessertspoon caster sugar|
|1 teaspoon vanilla extract|
|For the topping:|
|a little icing sugar|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C).|
|Oven temperatures and Conversions|
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|You will also need a 16 x 12 inch (40 x 30 cm) baking sheet lined with silicone paper (baking parchment).|
To make the meringues, place the egg whites in a large bowl and, using an electric hand whisk on a low speed, begin whisking.
Continue for about 2 minutes, until the whites are foamy, then switch the speed to medium and carry on whisking for 1 more minute.
Now turn the speed to high and continue whisking until the egg whites reach the stiff-peak stage. Next, whisk the sugar in on fast speed, a little at a time (about a dessertspoon), until you have a stiff and glossy mixture.
Now all you do is spoon 8 heaped dessertspoons of the mixture on to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly.
Then, using the back of the spoon or a small palette knife, hollow out the centres. Don't worry if they are not all the same shape – random and rocky is how I would describe them.
Next, pop them on the centre shelf of the oven, immediately reduce the heat to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C) and leave them for 30 minutes.
After that, turn the oven off and leave the meringues to dry out in the warmth of the oven until it is completely cold (usually about 4 hours).
When cold, transfer the meringues to a plastic freezer box to freeze, ready for New Year's Eve.
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This used to be a rather soft, rather squashy meringue, but now I like it crisper and chewier. Either way it’s loved by everyone. You can of course use any other fruit – summer berries or in the winter passion fruit.
The eggs must be spanking fresh as this makes them easier to separate.
Meringue nests filled with vanilla mascarpone cream and lemon curd
Invented at Eton for 4 June celebrations, this easy summery dessert is one of the quickest and most delectable ways to enjoy home-grown strawberries, couple with cream and meringue. Yum!
Meringue should be wafery crisp on the outside and soft and marshmallowy within.
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