Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
A whipped cream filling spiked with Irish cream liqueur is gently cradled between crisp coffee-flavored meringues.
- 2 egg whites
- 1⁄2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder or 1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 dash salt
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon irish cream or 1 tablespoon strong coffee, cold
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- chocolate-covered coffee beans (optional)
- For meringues, in a medium bowl let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line an extra-large baking sheet with parchment paper or plain brown paper. Draw twelve 3x1-1/2-inch ovals on paper about 2 inches apart; set aside.
- Place almonds in a food processor bowl. Cover and process until finely ground, but dry (not oily); set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine sugar and espresso powder or coffee crystals. Add vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt to the egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating about 5 minutes on high speed or until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight) and sugar is almost dissolved. Fold in ground almonds.
- Using a spoon or spatula, spread meringue mixture over the ovals on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in a 300 degree F oven for 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Let meringues dry in oven with door closed for 1 hour. (do not open oven.).
- For filling, in a chilled medium bowl combine the whipping cream and the Irish cream liqueur or cold coffee. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until soft peaks form (tips curl).
- To assemble, place 1 meringue on a dessert plate, flat side down. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling over meringue. Top with another meringue, flat side down; press gently until filling spreads to edges. Repeat with remaining meringues and filling, making 6 stacks. Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Cover and chill remaining whipped cream mixture.
- To serve, sift cocoa powder over meringues. If desired, garnish with chocolate-covered coffee beans. Makes 6t servings.
- Make-ahead tip: If you like, prepare meringues ahead and store them in an airtight container for up to a week.