Food: Baked meringue with guavas, walnuts and chocolate sauce


baked meringue

I’m still on an Easter egg high and trying to use up the 3,001 eggs that I bought on Easter weekend.

A terrific egg-based dessert is baked meringue, which is basically egg whites and sugar whisked until your arms fall off. If you have an electric mixer, I want to be you.

I used to have a beautiful KitchenAid mixer that I received as a wedding present in 1996. After about ten years it pooped out on me and I’ve been going at it ‘a mano’ ever since. At present I have a postage-stamp sized kitchen and refuse to add another appliance that isn’t used daily. Since I’m not a huge baker it seems that another beautiful electric mixer will not be going home with me anytime soon. But I do dream about it often. Especially that really pretty yellow one that will match my yellow Waring blender that I also got as a wedding present. I like yellow appliances—they’re so cheery. I hope that blender never dies ’cause I have formed an unhealthy attachment to it.

Is this way more than you wanted to know about me? Yes? Okay, let’s move along to the recipe.

Here’s what I love about this recipe: it’s EASY, tastes delicious and looks way fancier than it is to make. It’s also great for a large group of people.

Here’s what I didn’t love about this recipe: after whisking the egg whites, I had to whisk the whipped cream and at the end my arms were KILLING ME! What this says about my physical condition I’ll choose to ignore. SO, if you’ve got a mixer, you’ll love this recipe. If you don’t, well, it’s a good workout for the forearms.

Tray-baked meringue with guavas, ginger, cream, toasted walnuts and chocolate sauce
Adapted by me from Jamie Oliver’s recipe in Jamie at Home: Cook your way to the good life (I love this cookbook!)
Serves: 6-8

4 large eggs whites
1 ¼ cup sugar
pinch sea salt
½ cup walnuts, crushed
1 28-ounce can of guavas, in syrup
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 ounces powdered sugar
1 tspn vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange

1.    Preheat oven to 300F and line baking sheet with waxed paper.
2.    Put egg whites into large bowl and whisk until whites form firm peaks (10 minutes).
3.    Gradually add sugar and salt while continuing to whisk until white and glossy. To test whether it’s done you can pinch some between your fingers—if it feels smooth it’s ready; if its granular it needs more whisking.
4.    Dot each corner of waxed paper with meringue and then flip it over to “glue” paper to baking sheet.
5.    Spoon meringue onto sheet and smooth it out with a spatula into a rectangle. Place in the oven for one hour or until crisp on the outside and a little soft and sticky inside.
6.    Place nuts on a separate baking sheets and also place in the oven to roast at the same time the meringue is cooking. Once baked, remove from oven and let cool.
7.    Drain can of guavas, reserving 1 cup of liquid in a saucepan. To the syrup add the ginger and warm gently over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Take off heat and add chocolate to syrup, stirring until it’s all melted.
8.    Cut guavas into wedges.
9.    Transfer meringue to rustic cutting board or platter.
10.    Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until it forms smooth, soft peaks.
11.    Crush nuts and sprinkle half of them over the meringue.
12.    Spoon half the whipped cream over the meringue and then drizzle some of the chocolate syrup over the cream. Place guava slices on top. Pile on the rest of the whipped cream, chocolate sauce and nuts. Sprinkle orange zest.
13.    Serve immediately. If making in advance, then bake the meringue and leave it alone until you prepare the whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Assemble the fruit, cream and sauce right before serving.



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