Alright, so it’s not cake as such, but they are damn good, and really, really easy. Not to mention faster than your average meringue.
I recently unearthed this recipe from an old hand-written book of mine that dates back to A-Level Home Economics circa – 1970. Copyright info is long since lost, but I believe that the original recipe was in the part work “Cordon Bleu Cookery Course” published by Marshall Cavendish (if memory serves correctly.) EDIT: it seems the publisher may have been Purnell
These little meringues have been a huge success at spinning group and several of the ladies have asked for the recipe. Seeing as I had to type it up anyway, the blog might as well have the advantage of it.
Here is the recipe as written down in my book – it’s pre-metric, of course.
Meringues Aux Amandes
- 2 Egg Whites
- 4Â½ oz Icing Sugar
- Â¾ oz Chopped almonds
- 1 teaspoon Coffee Essence
Whisk egg whites and sugar over hot water. Fold in almonds and essence. Place in rough spoonfuls on prepared baking sheets. Bake at 325Â° for 30-40 minutes, or until dry.
Succinct, eh? well, I knew what I meant at the time that I wrote it down!
- The recipe is called Meringues with Almonds, but it works equally well (if not better) with other nuts. I have been making these recently with chopped walnuts and getting excellent results . Pecans and macadamias work well too.
- You can do your own metric conversions, I am feeling lazy – the 325 is Fahrenheit, obviously. I have been using 150Â°C in my fan oven.
- To be honest, I have never worked out the coffee essence part, never having seen little bottles of coffee essence equivalent to vanilla/almond etc. In the past I used Camp coffee and chicory essence – with good results. In the last few weeks I have added two teaspoons of very strong freshly-made espresso instead.
- I use an electric hand-mixer nowadays as the RSI in my shoulder prevents me from beating the hell out these with a wire balloon whisk – better results come from the balloon whisk, in my opinion.
- I beat the whites over a saucepan of gently simmering water – not the best Health & Safety option but it suits my impatient nature. Removing the pan from the heat and beating in a bowl over that is not just safer but will most likely yield a better bulk as well.
- Beat until the mix is snowy white and glossy and holds a peak well. It doesn’t take long.
- Fold in the nuts and coffee flavour carefully, in the usual manner.
- I dollop about a dessert spoonful onto rice paper or baking parchment. The heaps can be quite close together as the mixture is good and stiff and is, let’s face it, part-cooked already.
- The cooking time is pretty accurate. I call these done once the meringues lift cleanly from the paper.
- To be honest, these are at their best when not fully dried out – they have a wonderful chewiness to them.
I have never, ever, known these meringues to fail or to weep. I call them fail-safe meringues.
I defy you to eat just one. Make double quantities, they don’t last long…