Sunday, 9 March 2014

Pistachio and Rose Meringues

As the magnolia trees are happily coming into bloom it is safe to assume that spring is on its way!  Henceforth, now is the opportune moment to embrace floral notes in your cooking by experimenting with the delicate flavours of rose, lavender and orange blossom.  Perhaps I am being overly optimistic but a little bit of springtime goes a long way and these characteristically Middle Eastern scents evoke memories of springs gone by, providing a feast for all the senses.

These bit sized meringues not only satisfy sugar cravings but are also a novel way of bringing a splash of colour to your table. 

Makes 25 meringues

-          3 egg whites
-          150g caster sugar
-          2 tsp rose water (Neilsen Massey is my preferred brand)
-          50g shelled, unsalted pistachio kernels
-          pink food dye (or the colour of your choice)
-          300ml double cream
-          2-3 tbsp icing sugar


1.      Preheat your oven to 150ºC.  Line a baking tray with silicone paper and whizz the pistachio kernels in a food processor until roughly chopped.  
2.      In a medium bowl whisk the egg whites. Start on a slow speed and gradually increase the speed as the whites grow in size until they have reached stiff peak.
3.      Whisk 1 tbsp of caster sugar into the stiff egg whites, bringing the mixture back to stiff peak.  Repeat this process 3 times and then gradually add the remaining sugar and 1tsp of rose water until it is fully incorporated.  Take care not to over whisk the mixture as this will cause sugar beading once the meringue has cooked.
4.      Paint 4 vertical lines down the length of the piping bag with a medium sized, circle attachment. 
5.      Fill the piping bag with the meringue mixture and pipe into ‘kisses’ approximately 1cm wide, leaving a 1cm gap between each.  Sprinkle with the pistachio kernels and bake for approximately 1hr and 2mins. 
6.      To test the meringue remove one from the oven, let it cool and then crack open the centre.  The meringue should be chalky throughout.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.
7.      Meanwhile, whip the cream to medium to stiff consistency, the cream will thicken when it is piped.  If you have over whipped your cream let it down with a splash of milk.  Add icing sugar and rose water to taste and pipe onto the cooled meringue through a small star shaped nozzle and sandwich together.   


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