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After a well needed lie-in this morning and it dawned on Carlos and I that it’s February already, can you believe it? Soon, Spring and Semana Santa will be right around the corner, yikes! So February means Valentine’s Day, which means an abundance of pink. I happen to enjoy Valentines and I’m not complaining but to get the Valentines atmosphere flowing through the flat, I always like to sweeten Carlos up with something…sweet desserts of course!

It has taken me 4 hours to cook these delicate meringues and just in time for afternoon tea. It’s fun to sit back and get things done while they are crisping away in the oven. So 4 hours you say, well I sat back and watched my honey work on his bike as I occasionally checked on my slowly cooking meringues lured by the sweet vanilla scent, so if you’re looking for something fun to make with a minimal attention then this recipe you have to try-it won’t fail you.

I really love meringues and it makes this recipe what it is. It’s dreamy and reminds me of soft fluffy clouds the way the eggs whip together – like soft airy foam kid of like a bubble bath.

Now we can’t have a meringue without a decadent chocolate ganche, right? It is definitely the best contrast out there! If you could have light, crispy meringue on one hand and chocolate on the other, you’d definitely be the first person in the queue, I know I would be! If I had the time I would do it more often, but seeing as it is Valentines I’ll make the exception and food is nothing if not made without love.

Meringue Ingredients:

3 large egg whites
6 tablespoons vanilla sugar
65 grams icing sugar

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:

170 grams, dark chocolate (or milk if you prefer)
250ml double or whipping cream
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Greek honey
Cocoa powder for dusting

Method:

Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 95°C/ 200°F/ Gas Mark 1/4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Place the three egg whites and vanilla sugar in a large mixing bowl (if possible of an electric mixer) if not any large bowl is fine.

Fill a saucepan with an inch of water and heat it over a medium heat. Place the bowl over the saucepan, while whisking consistently using a hand-held mixer and whip until the egg white mixture reads 45°C on the thermometer and remove off the heat.

Soft peaks with icing sugar.
Soft peaks with vanilla sugar.

Continue to whip at a high speed using a hand held mixer (if using a bowl to the electric mixer, fit the bowl on the mixer). Add the icing sugar and continue to whip for about ten minutes until the meringue resembles a light, fluffy and voluminous texture with soft, wispy peaks.

Soft peaks with icing sugar after 10 minutes of continuous mixing.
Soft peaks with icing sugar after 10 minutes of continuous mixing.

Using a large tablespoon spoon 12 heaped spoonful’s onto the pre-prepared baking tray and bake in the oven for 4 hours until slightly golden and crispy-dry.

After the meringues have been cooking in the oven for 2 hours, start on the ganache sauce. Place the cream and honey in a non-stick milk pan and heat over a medium heat to just under boiling point and keep warm.

Break the chocolate and place into a plastic mixing bowl and pour over the hot creamy sauce. Gently stir and once the chocolate has melted mix in the butter and set aside to cool until the meringues are cooked and cooled at room temperature.

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Finally, spread a generous amount of the ganache on the flat side of the meringue and sandwich the ganache with another meringue and repeat the process. Dust with cocoa powder and serve with hot Viennese Coffee topped with Chantilly Cream.

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