These delicious coffee and hazelnut meringues are the perfect treat even for the gluten-intolerant amongst us.
- Oil, for greasing
- 4 egg whites
- 225g (8oz) golden icing sugar
- 2 tsp coffee extract
- 250ml (9fl oz) whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Grated dark chocolate, to decorate
For the hazelnut praline
- 100g (3½ oz) caster sugar
- 100g (3½ oz) blanched hazelnuts, roasted
1Preheat the oven to 120°C (fan 100°C)/250°F/gas mark ½. Lightly grease a baking sheet with oil and line a second baking sheet with baking paper.
2First, make the praline. Gently melt the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat, swirling the pan to make sure it melts evenly. Do not stir, as this may cause it to seize. When melted, increase the heat slightly and bubble until it turns an amber colour. Stir in the nuts, then pour on to the oiled baking sheet and leave to cool.
3In a large, clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Whisk in half the icing sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Carefully fold in the remaining sugar, followed by the coffee extract.
4Spread the mixture into 12 circles, 6 cm (2½ in) in diameter, on the lined baking sheet. Break the praline up into small pieces and scatter most of it over the meringues, reserving some for decoration.
5Bake in the oven for 1½-2 hours until the meringues are dry and lift easily from the paper. Leave to cool completely.
6Whip the cream and vanilla paste together to soft peaks. Spoon on to the cool meringues and scatter over the reserved praline. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and serve immediately.
This comes courtesy of Taste of France Issue Two. For more great recipes, food news and interviews with top chefs, buy your copy here!