Showing posts with label meringue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meringue. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Meringue Topping & Tips for Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh

Happy Valentine's Day! I know it's a silly holiday but I can't help getting all lovey dovey when I see big red and pink hearts everywhere.  I'm a hopeless romantic at heart what can I say. :-)

I hope you are enjoying this day with your sweetheart and if you're single: friends, chocolate, and some wine are just as good... if not better!

If you're in the mood for baking today, here's a flourless chocolate cake recipe you should try. It's the recipe for the Italian Caprese Cake which I topped with a meringue frosting.  It's pretty easy, there are just a few tricky steps but I'll explain them through. This is Mr. Amore's favorite cake so I made it for him this Valentine's Day. 

Ingredients for the cake: 
Skinned almonds - 200gr
Sugar - 180gr
Butter (room temperature) - 200gr
4 eggs
Dark Chocolate - 150gr

The first step is to roast your almonds for about 10 minutes in the oven at 400°F. Just lay them flat on a baking sheet and they should brown some once done. 

Next place them in a blender or mixer (I used my Nutribullet) and set aside. 

I got a creamy, buttery texture with my Nutibullet but if your consistency is drier and more flour-like, it's fine as well. 

Next step is to melt your chocolate in a double boiler (or in a microwave if you prefer).

Now mix the egg yolks, butter, sugar and almonds until thoroughly blended and set aside the egg whites. 

The batter should be pretty thick at this point as pictured above. 

Now in a clean glass or metal bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. 

This is the tricky part... you have to very slowly and gently incorporate the two being careful not to  over-whip the egg whites. 

This is what the final batter should look like. 

Add to cake pan and bake in preheated oven at about 340°F for one hour. 

Now for the meringue topping, whip up 4 egg whites, half a cup of powdered sugar, a tablespoon of lemon juice and whip as done above, until stiff peaks form. Add a few drops of red food coloring if you like for decoration. 

Now add the meringue topping to the cake and decorate as you wish. 

Return to oven for about 10 minutes and voilà! If you have some  topping left over you can make little meringues like these. 

And if you happen to receive a lovely bouquet of flowers this Valentine's Day and want to keep them fresh for as long as possible here are some tips to make them last longer. 

Cut the ends off under running water or in a bowl of water to make sure no air enters the stem. 

Try adding half an espresso cup of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar to the vase water. This is a homemade flower preservative that balances the pH of the water and helps keep the flowers bright and vibrant longer.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Sunday Sweets - Meringue

Yes, I know it's Monday but I was too exhausted to post my Sunday Sweet recipe yesterday so I'm posting it today. I had guests from out of town stay at my house Saturday and Sunday so I was a busy lady this past weekend cooking and cleaning and cooking....and eating. FYI - I started dieting today...let's see how long it'll last...

I chose to make Meringue's for dessert Saturday evening. If you have never had a Meringue you are missing out on a fluffy but at the same time crispy cloud of sweetness that puts a smile on my face just by looking at them!

There are different methods of making Meringue's that differ from country to country. The most popular are the French, Swiss and Italian Meringue's. I always use the French method because it is the easiest and uses the least number of ingredients.

You will also be happy to know that one Meringue has only 20 calories! Isn't that wonderful?? Unfortunately though, becasue of their's pretty hard to stop at just one. #willpower

All you need to make about 50 meringue's is 120 grams of egg whites, 220 grams of powdered sugar, a few drops of fresh lemon juice, and sprinkles to decorate are optional.

I used this glittered sugar which I thought was really cute. They come in 4 colors (gold, silver, blue and pink) and they looked really cute on top of the Meringue's.

The first thing you want to do is make sure you have either a metal or glass bowl to beat the egg whites. This is a very easy recipe but there are a few secrets to get it perfect. The egg whites must be beaten in a clean and dry bowl. There should be no water or grease present whatsoever in the bowl and never beaten in a plastic bowl or else you will not reach the right consistancy and the eggs will not be firm enough.  Before beginning turn the oven on very low heat to about 175° farenheight or 80° celcius.  A mixer will definetly help the process and you won't have to mix by hand which can be a real pain in the tucus...

Add some powdered sugar to the egg whites then start mixing. Once the egg whites start fluffing up stop the mixer and add some more sugar. Do this slowly until you have added all of the powdered sugar necessary.

Once you have incorporated all the sugar add a few drops of fresh lemon juice. The lemon will give a nice shine to the egg whites and will also remove the typical smell produced by the egg.

Keep mixing until you see the egg white is firm and forms beautiful mountain peaks of  sugary sweetness!
You are now ready to GENTLY add the mixture to a pastry bag and pipe on a baking sheet with parchment paper.   

You don't have to space them very far apart because they won't grow at all. You are technically not even baking them but you are simply drying them out. Now you can decorate with sprinkles if you like.

Place them in the preheated oven but leave the oven door open slighty.
As I said before, the heat should be very low. Total time to cook is 2 hours. After one hour, I turn the tray around so the back part is in the front. The back part of the oven will be warmer so half way through cooking time make sure to switch sides or else the meringue's in the back will cook too much.

They are now done. They should be crispy on the outside and softer on the inside. Don't they just make you smile :-)

Have a wonderful week my friends!