Heart meringue cream sandwich

meringue-hearts-sandwiches

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and you couldn’t ring more true with Mr LTT. Our first few dates revolved around our favourite things we both liked to eat – I impressed him with dim sum trolleys in Chinatown in London, where Chinese ladies shouted “You want dumpling?” at a confused Mr LTT. I handled that situation with the ease of a dim sum master and commander, guiding our way through the ports of har gau and siu mai. He then reciprocated by introducing me to how a ‘proper’ curry should be, up here in Leeds in a lavishly decorated restaurant where the floor mats near the loos tell you which day is is, like those knickers and socks you had as a kid. Mr LTT still makes me a curry every Saturday night – something I’m not allowed to be involved in; one man and his kitchen. I am only called in to clear up the kitchen – which in a short time quickly resembles a bombsite – once Mr LTT has completed his ritual of pan clanging and swearing.

So next week is the big ol’ V Day celebrations. We don’t go in for it much – I find it hugely over-hyped. In fact, just today I received an email from Waitrose about their £120 bunch of roses. In contrast, I have spent a miserly sum of £20 for 2 on a swiss cheese tasting night for the main event. I know, I’m all heart. At least when I say I gave a cheesy gift, it will have a literal meaning!

If the cheese gets all too much, I will have some of these really cute pink meringue hearts. If you’ve read my post about New Year’s resolutions you’ll know that I wanted to actually complete making some meringue and for them not to be horrendously chewing/undercooked on the inside. By cleaning down the equipment with vinegar to ensure that any traces of grease are removed, and by using cream of tartar to stabilise the egg whites, I think it helped to make them a real success. I also was being brave mixing in some pink colouring – I was almost certain it would end in pink ploppy tears due to my over-confidence, but I think starting small with the hearts instead of a full sized pavlova allowed me to better keep an eye on them when they were cooking. And it’s not like meringues will sink if you open the oven door and check them – you just don’t want the oven too hot. Luckily my bravery maverick confidence paid off and I’m so pleased I can now tick meringues off my list of foodie underachievements!

I sandwiched 2 hearts together with a dollop of freshly whipped double cream. The double cream helps to balance the sweetness of the meringue and gives a luxuriously smooth finish to contrast with the crunch. As it’s Valentine’s Day and chocolate is a traditional gift, I half dipped strawberries in dark chocolate to give a romantic fruity cocoa finish to the dessert. Feed it to your loved one or scoff a couple yourself…which I definitely didn’t do…honest. (Disclaimer: May be a lie in the last sentence.)

{Makes 12 – 14 hearts, or 6-7 sandwiches}

Ingredients

For the meringue

  • 4 large egg whites
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 100 caster sugar
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1tsp cream of tartar
  • ½tsp white vinegar
  • Pink gel food colouring

To finish

  • 300ml double cream
  • 7 strawberries
  • 100g milk/dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 100°C/225°F/Gas mark ¼. Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  2. Wipe your mixing bowl and balloon whisk down with some vinegar on a cloth or kitchen roll to make sure they are spotlessly clean.
  3. Whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form (they hold without moving).
  4. One tablespoon at a time, whisk in the granulated sugar, whisking each time until it is thoroughly dissolved.
  5. Sift the caster sugar and cream of tartar twice the fold into the egg whites with a large metal spoon. Then fold in the vinegar and pink food colouring.
  6. Carefully spoon the mixture into a piping bag, then snip the end off the bag creating a hole about 1-2cm wide. Stick the greaseproof paper to the trays with a blob of meringue on each corner.
  7. To create the heart shape start by piping a V and gently shaping and enlarging it by piping it a little larger each time. You can smooth it over. The final size of the heart at its widest point will be about 10cm.
  8. Bake for 1½ hours then remove from the oven and leave to cool on the paper for 5 minutes – they will feel hard-ish on the top but will harden up more as they cool. Once the 5 minutes is up, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack.
  9. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Once melted, remove from heat and tip the bowl to one side. Dip the strawberries halfway into the chocolate, hanging for a short time over the bowl allowing it to set a little before placing on a piece of greaseproof paper to set fully.
  10. Whip the cream very gentle until it is spreadable but not too runny.
  11. Spread a dollop of cream onto a meringue heart then sandwich another on top. Use a dab of cream to stick a strawberry to the top.

Comments

  1. says

    się, czując, Usługi Seo jakim sposobem uginają
    się wobec przedtem systemy cms nogi.

    Rzedniejący dużo w smugach reflektorów. Bruk, lśniące wilgocią, wyślizgane

    droga żelazna. Owe jakaś pierdolona rampa, pomyślał.

    Trzask przejścia szoferki, bezpieczna rozmowa, nie można wyświetlić słów.
    Ów, co pomagał

    w rozładunku, zeskoczył ze skrzyni, przytrzymując
    zwisającego na pasie beryla.

    Po raz kolejny zaświecił latarką po twarzach stoją.

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