I’ll keep it short: think of these as little clouds. Soft, melting clouds to serve with afternoon tea on what we can only hope to call the very last days of what has been a very cold winter. Provided you have a stand mixer, meringues are easy indeed. They do require a bit of time in the oven, but will keep very well.
Cinnamon and Almond Meringues (adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi)
- 100g cold, fresh egg whites (3-4)
- 130g (1 1/4 cup) superfine sugar
- 70g (1/4 cup) dark brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 20g unskinned almonds, coarsely chopped
Preheat your oven to 225°F/110°C and line one or two baking trays with parchment paper.
Fill a saucepan halfway with water. Heat the water to a low simmer and place the egg whites and sugars in a heat-proof bowl. Put the bowl over the water, making sure it doesn’t actually touch the water, and stir occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is hot and the sugars have dissolved.
Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed for about 8 minutes, until quite glossy and firm, and it holds its shape.
Sprinkle the cinnamon on top and fold in gently with a spatula.
Take apple-sized dollops of the mixture and plonk it onto the baking trays using two spoons, being careful to allow some space between the meringues. Using the spoons, shape the tops into spiky dollops, then sprinkle over the chopped almonds. Place in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until the undersides are dry but the centres are still a little soft. Let cool. Packed in a sealed container they will keep well for several days.
Excuse me while I go drop half a month’s salary on cookware. No, but seriously, are you going to a Christmas wedding for your very best friend, or do you think you’re going to need to atone for something REALLY stupid this holiday season? Look no further! Or just trawl through some eye candy, baby.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer ($349): OK, yes, we begin with something that “I” already have! My sister just got one and it is a thing of beauty. It will also let you make otherwise-annoying recipes with ease: think croissants, brioche, meringues and jelly rolls. Hoorah!
Mauviel Fondue Pot ($981.64): Haha just kidding except NOT. I’m sorry, this is almost one. thousand. dollars. But it requires no explanation. Gruyere was made for this.
Champagne Saucers ($100): We all need champagne saucers in our life–for birthdays, breakups, Christmas, weddings, engagements, showers, bachelor parties, movie nights, company picnics and New Year’s! There’s something about saucers that makes them a bit more chic than flutes. Very Gatsby.
Vitamix ($579): I have never used one, but they are apparently the most awesome of blenders. They turn kale into pulp in seconds. Want! True, they look like they belong in the year 1982, but they do their thing better than anything else. Cooks illustrated said so.
Espresso Machine ($2,400): In an age of boring old Nespresso pods, this Rocket Espresso Evoluzione Cellini is so “authentic” haha. Whatever, but it’s got this retro-future gleam, right? Can you imagine walking into someone’s house and they’re all, “can I make you a capuccino,” pointing subtly to this? YES.
Vosges Travel the World through Chocolate Steamer Trunk ($1,045): Say whaaat? Eee this is the most amazing gift ever, no need to thank me. It comes with pretty much every chocolate ever made, and in a vintage steamer trunk.
Think about how much your life could be enhanced with all these goodies, and how many people you could impress! Happy shopping!
This is a thing! I loved having pen pals as a kid, and now I love it even more because it comes with food. Let me explain: every month that you choose to participate, you’re matched with another blogger/reader, and you send them some foodstuff, to about the $15 mark. If you’re interested, in Canada and the States you can check it out at The Lean Green Bean. Or, in Europe, at Rock Salt.
This week I got a lovely set of stuff from Kathy in Calgary. It was all beautifully homemade and thoughtful–delicious huckleberry jam, coconut cookies, and this lovely jewelry pouch and onion bag. Hee! Also, sour candies, which I will definitely be bringing to work for the boring days.
Also, check this array of stamps. You are awesome, Kathy. Merci!