In my last post I promised that my next post would be my Valentines day desert and here it is. At first I was glad to see that the Barefoot Bloggers recipe for this month was a desert that looked like it would work for Valentines day. I stumbled upon Martha Stewarts Valentines special (really - I don't watch Martha) where she had three pastry chefs do a Valentines desert. After I saw that I kind of wished I could switch to one of those. They all were very elaborate and looked fantastic. Of course I also new I would have a hard time finding ingredients for them since they called for things like quinces and apple pectin. Maybe next year I will plan ahead to make one of those. My wife is more of a chocolate person so I think she might like one of those better.
I didn't really know what to expect with this recipe. I had never done a meringue that you cook for 2+ hours. The recipe was easy to make. You make the meringue cups a long time before you need them since they are supposed to be in the oven for 6 hours. I had just bought my cake decorating kit for my Wiltons class next month (get ready for those posts in March) so I pulled that out to form the meringue into the cups. You can probably see from the picture that I shaped them into hearts for the occasion.
The stewed berries were straightforward after I got over paying $3.99 for the tiny container of raspberries. I didn't have any raspberry brandy so I used triple sec instead - I doubt it made much difference. For the whipped cream I pulled out the good stuff - Grand Marnier - my little $30 bottle is probably a lifetime supply at the rate I use it anyway.
So what did I think of this recipe? Like I said - I didn't know what to expect - but the meringues were very hard - it made them a little hard to eat. I think that is probably what they were supposed to be after six hours in the oven. They were also VERY sweet. I'm not saying I didn't like them but they definitly were not a must have desert in my opinion. They did look very nice with the white meringues and the red and blue fruit - and they made a nice desert for Valentines day - I am glad I got to try this recipe but I don't think I will keep these on my list to make again.
Thanks to BMK of Reservations not Required for this recipe.
Meringues Chantilly(Source: Barefoot in Paris, page 176)Serves 12Ingredients:
- 6 extra - large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Whipped Cream with Orange Liqueur, recipe follows
- Stewed berries, recipe follows
Whipped Cream with Orange Liqueur:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw 6 (3 1/2-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn the paper face-down on the baking sheets.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pinch of salt on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and raise the speed to high until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the meringue. With a large star - shaped pastry tip, pipe a disc of meringue inside each circle. Pipe another layer around the edge to form the sides of the shells.
- Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringues are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.
- Spread some of the sauce from the stewed berries on each plate. Place a meringue on top and fill with whipped cream. Top with berries and serve.
Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla and orange liqueur and continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Don't overbeat, or you'll end up with butter!
- 2 cups (1 pint) cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueurYield: 4 cupsStewed berries:
- 1 half-pint fresh blueberries
- 3 half-pints fresh raspberries, divided
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 teaspoons framboise (raspberry brandy)Combine the blueberries, one-half pint of raspberries, 1/3 cup water, the sugar and zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. The juice will become a syrup and the berries will be slightly cooked. Off the heat, stir in the remaining raspberries and the framboise. Set aside.Yield: 8 servings