Posts Tagged ‘meringues’

During the holidays, Pete and I didn’t get to our local produce markets, so when we finally made it there, I got a little carried away at the egg stall.  Normally I’d buy a tray of 30 free-range eggs (for an outrageously cheap $6) – enough to tide us over for a fortnight – and occasionally I’ll splurge on some duck eggs for baking.

Last week I bought a standard tray and a dozen duck eggs, forgetting that I had a carton at home that I’d purchased – reluctantly – from the supermarket to see us through the festive season.  Then our wonderful egg man decided to give me an extra tray of tiny eggs as a New Year’s gift.  And all of a sudden, I had eighty-four eggs in the fridge, and there weren’t any fruit cakes or Christmas presents left to be baked!

Of course, the market eggs are always super-fresh, which means they’ll be fine for at least a month in the fridge.  But it’s still a lot of eggs, so here’s what I’ve been doing to reduce the glut.

I thought about making some lemon curd, but we’ve got so much jars of jam open in the fridge at the moment that we might not get to it.

Instead, I baked Dan Lepard’s Chocolate Brandy Layer Cake, following his instructions here.  I omitted the hazelnuts, since there weren’t any in the pantry.  We ended up with an excess of custard frosting, which I thinned with a little milk and then churned into hazelnut chocolate icecream. Five eggs down…

I made two batches of shortbread cookie freezer dough, which needed six egg yolks, and turned the whites into meringues (half of which went into the freezer as well)…

Joanna’s kugelhopf recipe used up a further four eggs…and turning the leftovers into bread and butter pudding should account for another five!

Lastly, I made scotched egg meatloaf – four baby boiled eggs in the middle, and one egg as binder.  It’s topped with roasted tomato passata and slices of dry cured pancetta.

I’d be grateful for any other suggestions….I’ve been thinking about making pickled eggs, but I’m not sure the boys will eat them!

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Can you believe this mountain of meringues was made from just four egg whites?  They were leftover from Pete’s pasticcio and I was loathe to waste them.  I’ve frozen half of these meringues and left the remainder in the cookie jar for emergency sugar hits.

Meringues are the easiest thing ever – for each egg white, you’ll need 60 grams  (2oz) of caster (superfine) sugar and a tiny bit of vanilla.  My batch of four whites used 240g caster sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla.

Preheat the oven to 150C (300F).  Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff, then gradually (a spoonful at a time) beat in the sugar.  Add the vanilla and continue beating, until your mixture is thick and glossy.

Drop dessertspoon dollops of the mixture onto baking trays lined with parchment paper.  You should have enough to make a ludicrous number of meringues.  Put the trays into the oven, and immediately drop the oven temperature to 110C (230F) or 100C (210F) with fan.  Allow the trays to bake until the meringues are light and crisp, about 65 – 75 minutes.  This makes a dry, crunchy meringue that will keep well – if you want a more marshmallow centre, you’ll need to bake them for less time on a slightly higher heat.  It’s worth playing around with small batches until you’re happy with them (after all, it’s only a couple of egg whites and some sugar).

Once the meringues are cooked, allow them to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.  This will give them a chance to dry out properly, without getting too sticky on the outside.  For some reason it’s quite hard to make meringues on a humid day – the end result is often a bit gummy and soft.  Enjoy!

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Edit: You can also make swirly meringues – a very girly party favourite!

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