Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hazelnut Meringue with Apricot Filling

Ah lovely background with mini - accordian and pack of fags!
6 egg white
12oz caster sugar
4 oz ground hazelnuts
6oz dried apricots soaked overnight in water
1 inch of cinnamon
Juice of two oranges
2 inch piece of orange rind
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
500 ml single or double cream
Extra hazelnuts for decorating - I used 18 - that was 1 oz!
3 cake tins - lightly oiled and lined with parchment on the bottom.

I started out by toasting the hazelnuts until golden - toast a few extra as you’ll eat a few. Pop them out of their skins and roughly blend them in a  blender, not forgetting to keep a few extra whole over to decorate the top of the dessert when done.

Separate out your eggs - being super careful not to allow any yolk in - otherwise your meringue will fail miserably. Also worth washing your utensils just before starting the meringue - as any dirt or grease could affect the fluffiness of your egg whites- leaving you with one flat meringue.

Put the 6 egg whites in a bowl / food processor with whisk attachment - and whisk until  they form soft peaks. Then slowly add in the caster sugar spoon by spoon. The whites should stay smooth and get a little glossy. Then fold in the ground hazelnuts gently with a metal spoon. 

Spoon the mixture into the tins and bake at the middle of the oven for 30 mins at Gas Mark 5.

Now make the apricot filling. Drain the apricots over a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of the soaking liquid into the pan with the fruit cinnamon, brown sugar, orange peel and juice. Bring to a gentle simmer and let it bubble away for about 20 minutes until the apricots are breaking apart. Add more of the soaking liquid if it appears to be getting too dry..

Remove the meringues from the oven - they should have a light brown tinge. Leave to cool in the tins for 15 mins before turning them out onto a wrack to cool fully. Just before serving assemble the meringue - put one meringue with half of the apricot mixture and a third of the whipped cream. then another meringue followed by the rest of the apricot filling, more cream, meringue and then the rest of the cream and a few toasted hazelnuts. This dessert is pretty sweet - so if you prefer a less sugary dessert - I recommend you try something else - but for sugar junkies - this will be a tasty hit!

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