Friday, February 19, 2010

Mini meringues with boozy cherries and orange cream

Mini meringues with boozy cherries and orange cream / Mini suspiros com creme de água de flor de laranjeira e cerejas secas

Some people say – and several of them are from my family – that the best things in life are the simple ones. As much as I hate agreeing with my grandmother – and she knows that – this orange cream is a good example: ridiculously simple, but it has got to be one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. In 31 years of existence. :)

The original recipe called for fresh cranberries, but I can’t get hold of them here in Brazil – the wonderful, plump dried cherries I got from a lovely friend replaced them beautifully.

Mini meringues with boozy cherries and orange cream / Mini suspiros com creme de água de flor de laranjeira e cerejas secas

Mini meringues with boozy cherries and orange cream
adapted from Delicious magazine

400g caster sugar
200g (about 5 large) free-range egg whites

about ½ cup (72g) dried cherries*
3 tablespoons vodka
40g caster sugar
600ml heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
1-2 tablespoons orange flower water, to taste
Handful unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped

Preheat the oven to 220°C/428°F. Spread the sugar evenly over a shallow baking tray, lined with baking paper, and place in the oven for about 10 minutes until really hot.

Place the egg whites in an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. Whisk on high speed until the whites begin to froth, then gradually pour in the hot sugar. Continue whisking on a high speed for 10 minutes until the meringue is beautifully silky and holds its shape.
Reduce the temperature to 110°C/230°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper - stick the baking paper to the baking sheets with a little meringue.
Fill a piping bag with the meringue and pipe golf ball-size rounds on to the baking sheet – I used two small spoons to shape the meringues and made them a little bigger. Have a bowl of water nearby; dip a teaspoon in the water and use the back of it to create a nest shape. Repeat, spaced apart – you should get about 60 mini meringues.
Bake the mini meringues for 1 hour, or until crisp to touch. Turn off the oven and leave inside to cool completely.
Gently heat the cherries, vodka and caster sugar in a small pan for 3-5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the cherries plump up a bit. Cool a little. In a bowl, whip the cream, icing sugar and orange flower water, to taste, to soft peaks.
To assemble: place the meringues on serving plates, and spoon a small dollop of orange cream onto each one. Spoon a boozy cherry and a little syrup over the top, then sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

* the amount of cherries will depend on the number of meringues you end up with, since there has to be one cherry to top each mini pavlova

Makes 60 – I made ¼ of the recipe above, used two spoons to shape the meringues (instead of a piping bag) and got 8 mini pavlovas


Sophia said...

I'm a huge fan of meringues and these look extremely delicious. I can't wait to try them. My fave meringues are Minty Meringues:

What do you think?

Heather said...

These look so delightful I think I would like to try them for the next Church reception I bake for.

Karen said...

That looks fantastic. I love Pavlovas.

You say you made one-fourth of the recipe. So did you use one egg white?

Andrea said...

They look so elegant and delicious. Wonderful as always. :)

ChichaJo said...

Such a sophisticated looking dessert! Your meringues look perfect!

MªJose-Dit i Fet said...

Que maravillosas fotos, con lo que me gusta a mi el merengue, tiene que estar riquisimo...un besito

~~louise~~ said...

Simply divine, Patricia...

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Your meringues look wonderful. I'd love to try this interesting combination of fruit flavors, too.

Pei-Lin said...

Oh, it does look good! Orange cream? Would love to try a bite of these dainty treats! They remind me of pavlovas!

Manggy said...

Actually, I'd say that cherries are much, much more luxurious :) That looks heavenly Patricia!!

Unknown said...

Cute! I love meringues.

EZSweets said...

these look so cute and delicious!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Sophia, that sounds wonderful, tks for sharing!

Heather, thank you! I hope everyone likes them.

karen, thank you! Actually, I weighed the ingredients and used 50g egg whites.

Andrea, thank you, sweetie - you are so sweet, as always. ;)

Joey, thank you, darling!

Maria Jose, muchas gracias!

Louise, thank you!

Xiaolu, thank you! The cream is so, so good, even by itself.

Pei-Lin, thank you! That cream is heavenly, dearie - and these are kind of pavlovas, indeed!

Mark, I might agree with you, my friend. ;)
Thank you!

Anna, thank you!

EZSweets, tks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

I've never made meringues before and I didn't realize how simple they are to make! I can't wait to try out this recipe-the cherries sound delicious!

Valérie said...

hum! they look so good!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Megan, the trick is to control the oven temperature all the time.
Thank you!

Valérie, thank you for stopping by!

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