I love to cook and I love to eat good food.  Alas, the fact that I work 9-5 means that I can't do either as much as I would like, and like many I am often stuck at my desk during my lunch "hour".  My solution is to try to bring my lunch to work as much as I can.  This is my collection of recipes, all made quickly the night before (either as lunch or as dinner with leftovers that can be taken in).  Happy eating.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Meringues with mango sauce and creme fraiche

Legend has it that a properly beaten bowl of egg whites will stay in the bowl if you lift it upside down over your head.  While I am completely confident that this recipe will impress even the most demanding of dinner guests -- or even just dining companions -- I have never tested this theory.  It's sort of like the idea that you test the doneness of spaghetti by throwing a strand against your wall.  Seems like a lot of risk for something that could be achieved by slightly less potentially messy methods.

This recipe was inspired by a trip to the Indian section of my local market.  Amid the ginger, cardamom and limes, I found some Alphonso mango puree.  This golden lusciousness, richly sweet liquid would be sauce enough for some gooey centered meringues.   To balance the dish, some creme fraiche would be needed, and a zesting of tropical scented lime.

The meringues need to be timed correctly so that they remain chewy and soft.  I like to make one large meringue per person, which should not take much more than 30 minutes, but it depends on whether your oven runs hot or cold.

So time the meringues right, dress them well -- beat your egg whites thoroughly -- and there will be no egg on your face...

Meringues with mango sauce and creme fraiche
4 egg whites
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mango or other fruit sauce
Creme fraiche
Lime zest

Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Beat in vanilla, then continue to beat, adding sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, until egg whites go glossy and stiff.  

Line a tray with baking parchment and drop meringue onto the sheet, sized according to your wish.

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, depending on size.  For grapefruit size meringues, 45 minutes will still keep them gooey inside.  For tangerine size, even 30 minutes might be too much.


Kim (The Paper Aproness) said...

You're an exceptional writer and I'm enjoying every single one of your posts. You have a wonderful sensibility and cadence to your words- your sentences just dance along the page. I'm going to add you to my favorites roll and keep up with you. ;)

Cucinista said...

Thank you Kim! I really write (and cook) for myself, but it's great to know others enjoy the fruits of my labors (as I enjoy theirs).

Mel @ bouchonfor2.com said...

Thanks for visiting my bouchonfor2 blog and giving me encouragement :) I'm super excited it's mango season. In fact, I'm eating a bowl of oatmeal with mango as we speak. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

Heather said...

mmmmm, yummy. those meringues look delicious!

Anonymous said...

This is a great brunch idea. Really, really love it. Just bring us a glass of champagne. Delish!

Joie de vivre said...

First, thank you for following my blog!
Second, I've only made the crunchy type of meringue before, soft and chewy you say? I'm intrigued.
Third: your blog is lovely, I'm so glad I visited!

Margaret said...

I love meringues and must now look out for Mango puree. I have a few egg whites in the freezer to use up! This dessert looks wonderful.

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