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Spring is upon us! I do apologise for the radio silence, I've been going through some somewhat personal issues with the freelance work I've been doing.

However, I am here now and I bring a delicious recipe inspiration, just in time for the long Easter weekend! Meringues are relatively easy to make, you only need to follow a couple (very important) notes. It's about timing and temperature, that's pretty much it!

I initially followed an old Nigella recipe but only for the meringue. However after initial trial and error (and experimentation, naturally) I've achieved just what I was after: Passion fruit coulis meringue bites.


They're as light as a feather, they crumble in your fingers and melt on your tongue. When paired with a passion fruit coulis cream and chilled - that's when you know you've gone to heaven. (Did I mention the cream helps the middle get all sweet and sticky?)



That, and they're really easy to make.


What you need!

INGREDIENTS

For the meringues (Makes approximately 16, depends on how you size them)

5 egg whites
250g caster sugar
2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons of cornflour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

For the cream:

250ml whipping cream (30% fat)
250g mascarpone
100g sweet condensed milk in caramel flavour (dulce de lece anyone?)
70g of passion fruit coulis (or jam. coulis wins, personally)
1 passion fruit if small to medium or half if bigger.

Now, the very important stuff to note before you start is: Eggs are easier to separate while still chilled. However, only whisk the egg whites when they're room temperature! Feel free to separate them in advance, but let the whites warm up. Only use metal or glass bowls, do not use plastic due to possible grease residue. Do not get any yolk into the whites or that'll also spoil it. Well, now that we got this out of the way, let us carry on.


Instructions:

Firstly, set your oven to heat up to 180C. Once the egg whites are room temperature, add a pinch of salt and use a whisk attachment and beat on medium to high until it forms soft peaks (NOT STIFF!). It's important to not over do it. Timing, remember?

Change the speed to medium and gradually add the sugar, vinegar and cornflour. Don't rush it, take your time and add little amounts at a time. Add the extract, too.



I used a regular table spoon and one large scoop was just right for the size I was going for. Spin the heaped spoon over a baking sheet lined with baking paper until the mass slips off and forms a nice fluffy button. Use a reversed teaspoon motion to scoop out a little from the middle, that's where you'll be adding the cream and so it's up to you how deep/wide you want it. I found that a reversed scoop (with the bottom of the teaspoon) left the indentation smoother and was easier to shape! 




Once they're ready to go, change the oven temperature to 150C and pop them in. Mine took over two trays and so I swapped them around mid-bake to ensure even results. Bake for 40minutes, but do keep an eye on them. Should they start turning anything close to brownish, that's too much. However that shouldn't happen assuming your oven is not a burning monster! Once 40minutes have passed, check to ensure they haven't browned, turn the oven off and let them sit in the cooling oven for another 20mins. Once passed, remove and set to cool completely.


^ 1, 2 and 3 are perfect. #4 is slightly over done.



Make your cream! (I promise you'll fall in love with it)

Transfer the whipping cream into a clean bowl and mix on medium to high until it's fluffy. Also, an important step here is not to overdo it unless you like your cream runny (I like it in all shapes and forms, hehe)
Add the mascarpone, change the attachment to a folding one and mix the two together until smooth and fluffy. It's important to fold the creams to allow air, as opposed to beating it into a runny mass.

Then, fold in the condensed caramel milk, squeeze in the juices from the passion fruit (without seeds) and the coulis. Keep in the fridge until ready to decorate (don't wait around too long, though!)



Scoop up some cream into the centre, drizzle with more coulis and transfer to the fridge to cool and set. They're really special when chilled!



After many years of literally avoiding Easter I've finally decided to paint eggs & participate in baking activities. I believe in traditional Easter, none of the chocolate egg mumbo jumbo! My mother used to always involve me in egg painting when I was little and she was a damn expect, wax designs and everything. I'm nowhere near as talented and so I painted mine in pastels & glitter (naturally). 




Thanks for reading. Happy Easter, everyone! 

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