Well, it’s been a bit of a mixed year, hasn’t it? If the Mayan apocalypse doesn’t ruin all our plans for the 25th, I’d like to wish everyone reading this, Merry Christmas!
We had friends over for dinner the other day as part of a pre-Christmas catch up. Put two teetotallers and two vinous aficionados at a table and you would think it’d be a recipe for disaster, but it was so much fun. If it takes an occasion like the holiday season for people to finally get together, then so be it. In light of recent bad news happening around the World, I’m reminded of how lucky some of us are to live happy, (relatively) uncomplicated lives and to be surrounded by loved ones, or at least be connected to friends near and far away.
At the end of the evening, dessert was brought out with a bit of a disclaimer. This recipe was new to me and I didn’t know if it would turn out well. What is it meant to be like, they asked? I’d hoped it would be chewy, gooey, crispy and crunchy.
And it was.
The recipe for the meringue comes by way of the brilliant Ottolenghi cookbook. A sweet way to end a meal, Christmas or otherwise.
Hazelnut meringues :
100g egg whites
generous pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 110’C.
In a bowl, whisk the egg whites, sugar and salt together just to combine. Warm the mixture in the bowl over a bain marie until it feels warm to touch, stirring at all times. Transfer the contents of the bowl to an electric mixer and whisk on high until the mixture has cooled down and you have a firm, shiny meringue. Swirl in the chopped hazelnuts and cocoa powder.
Place large spoonfuls of the meringue onto lined baking trays. Bake for about 2 hours or until the bottoms of the meringues feel dry.