Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
this dish to me, is a assembly of wonderful sweet friends. having one slab of meringue means serving it is dead easy. feel free to make up your own topping combination. Other good ones I really like are chestnut puree mixed with cream and chocolate or other soft fruits with praline
- 4 large egg whites (i prefer organic or free-range eggs)
- 200 g golden caster sugar
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 100 g hazelnuts, skins removed
- 800 g pears in light syrup
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 400 ml double cream
- 50 g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out
- 1 orange, zest of
- 2 pieces gingerroot, thinly sliced (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2 and line 40 x 25cm baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper.
- Put your egg whites into a squeaky clean bowl, making sure there are absolutely no little pieces of egg shell or egg yolk in them.
- Whisk on medium until the whites form firm peaks.
- With your mixer still running, gradually add the sugar and the pinch of salt.
- Turn the mixer up to the highest setting and whisk for about 7-8 minutes, until the meringue mixture is white and glossy, to test whether it's done you can pinch some between your fingers- if it feels completely smooth it's ready; if it's slightly granular it needs a little more whisking.
- Dot each corner of the greaseproof paper with a blob of meringue, then turn it over and stick it to the baking tray, spoon the meringue out onto the paper, using the back of a spoon, shape and swirl it into a A4 size rectangle.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for a hour or until crisp on the outside and a little soft and sticky on the inside, at the same time bake the hazelnuts on a separate tray in the oven for a hour or until golden brown.
- Drain the tin of pears, reserving the syrup from the tin, cut each pear into 6 slices.
- Pour the pear syrup into a saucepan (with the ginger) and warm gently over a medium heat until it starts to simmer.
- Take off the heat and snap the chocolate into saucepan with the syrup, stirring with a spoon until its all melted.
- Take the meringue and hazelnuts out of the oven and leave to cool.
- Place the meringue on a nice rustic board or platter.
- Whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla seeds until it forms smooth soft peaks.
- Smash the toasted hazelnuts (in a tea towel) and sprinkle half of them over the meringue.
- Spoon half the whipped cream over the top of the meringue and drizzle with some of the chocolate syrup sauce.
- Divide most of the pear pieces evenly over the top, pile on the rest of the whipped cream, drizzle with the chocolate syrup sauce and the rest of the hazelnuts.
- Serve straight away.
Don't think I've ever made a baked meringue like this before, & it's delicious, although I think what made it for me was the combo of dark chocolate & orange zest! Shared it with neighbors who thought it extraordinary & wanted the recipe, so shared that, too ~ Thank you so much for posting it! [Tagged, made & reviewed for one of my adopted orphans in the current Pick A Chef]