This recipe is courtesy of my brother-in-law, Mark Jenkins, who thought that the meringues I made for a family party in Wales were too perfect to be home made. It is such a simple recipe – only two ingredients – but is deemed difficult for non-professional cooks. However, follow a couple of easy guidelines and it is the easiest thing in the world. Each and every time we produce these for a wedding, or any party for that matter, they go down a storm as they are simply gorgeous. So to show Mark and any other doubting Thomases – here is how you do it….
This amount will make 20-22 dessert size, or 40 very mini meringues for finger food
2 medium egg whites, at room temperature
125g white caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 120’C/Gas Mark 1/2
Make sure your equipment is clean and dry and line a flat baking sheet with baking parchment
Separate the eggs, and place the whites into a bowl and whisk until they are stiff and hold soft peaks.At this point, start adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time whisking well between each spoonful. Keep going until you have added all the sugar. Don’t be in too much of a rush to do this, and continue whisking until you have a stiff and glossy mixture ready to pipe.
Fill your piping bag with a large star nozzle and pipe little rosettes onto the baking parchment, leaving space between each meringue.
Place in the oven for an hour until they are crisp and dry and remove easily from the baking parchment.
Turn the oven off and leave to cool in the oven before removing.
Once completely cold the meringues can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
150ml double cream
a punnet fresh raspberries (or strawberries if you’d prefer)
small tot of Chase Rhubarb liqueur (optional)
Whip the cream until thickened, being careful not to over whisk. Crush the raspberries with the back of a fork and stir into the cream and add the Rhubarb liqueur if using. Pile onto your favourite plate and decorate with rose petals.
NOTE: The vodka maker Chase makes some lovely vodka liqueurs and I love using the rhubarb liqueur for grown up recipes. It is fun to serve a shot of the liqueur alongside for the perfect dinner party pudding.
This recipe is like one of those pleasingly handy reversible skirt – two outfits for the price of one! (White Stuff, since you’re asking). I devised this recipe as a deeply savoury portable loaf to be taken on a picnic. Whilst I was planning a Hen Party canape workshop at The Medicine Garden in Cobham, I realised that the texture was perfect for a canape base, so I made a loaf to take along and we cut it into cute little heart shapes and topped them with goat’s cheese and baby leaves. Looks fresh and summery – perfect hen or wedding party food, or even just for fun at any time.
Leek and Red Pepper Picnic Loaf Recipe
This makes enough mixture to fill a 1lb loaf tin and will feed up 8-10
2 medium leeks (150-200g)
1 small red pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
3medium eggs, beaten
110g plain whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 tsp baking powder
100g goats cheese or 100g grated cheddar
salt and pepper
For the canapes you will need a small tub of creme fraiche or fresh goat’s cheese with some chopped herbs or micro leaves
Preheat the oven to 180’C or equivalent.
Trim ends and tops of the leeks, cut in half lengthwise and slice the leeks thinly. Give them a good wash in running water.
Cut the pepper into small even size dice shapes
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and soften the leek and red pepper for 7-10 minutes, stirring to prevent them sticking.
Mix the eggs and milk with the flour, smoked paprika and baking powder.
Remove the leeks and red pepper from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Mix the flour and egg mixture with the leeks and red pepper and add the Parmesan and goat’s cheese.
Add salt and pepper and turn the mixture into the prepared loaf tin.
Transfer to the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes.
Leave to cool before eating, and wrap in greaseproof paper and a clean tea towel if taking on a picnic, along with a small chopping board and knife.
If using as a canape base, leave to cool and cut out shapes when required. This size loaf will yield two small heart shapes per slice, giving you around 18-20 little heart shapes. Top these with the creme fraiche or goat’s cheese and decorate with herbs or leaves.
The heart shaped version is such a simple and effective canape for a wedding or hen night. For other occasions the square shapes are also very stylish.
First find the right size heart shaped cutter which will fit into the centre of a large cucumber. If this isn’t available then you can cut the cucumber into rounds or into square shapes as in the photograph above. We use peeled baby brown shrimps when available, but small pink peeled prawns can also be used.
Top Tip – you can use the cucumber trimmings with it’s heart shape centre as a garnish in a refreshing soft drink or gin and tonic instead of a slice of lemon. Perfect for a hot day.