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Posts Tagged ‘egg recipes’

  1. Marshmallows

    May 31, 2016 by sarah

    I have to admit now, before we go any further, I do not like marshmallows. Except the seriously caramilised (burnt) type on the end of a stick and something to do with a camp fire – those I can take in small doses. But a raw bouncy, squidgy marshmallow just does not do it for me. They tend to be insipid in taste, overwhelmingly sugary and have the texture of a gymnastics mat. I even bought some expensive hand-made ones from La Pâtisserie de Rêves the last time I was in London – they were disgusting AND expensive! Not very promising for a weekend treat, I hear you cry! Well after having made them, my way, I may be converted… just a little. And they look very pretty!
























    Feel free to use whatever freeze dried fruit you can find. Most supermarkets sell some now but I get mine online from Healthy Supplies as they have a fabulous selection at good prices. I have been disappointed with the flavour of freeze-dried fruit in chocolate ganaches – it tastes kind of ‘green’ and not at all like the fruit it is supposed to. So these marshmallows are a good use of the freeze-dried fruit as the flavour is actually intensified in them.


    Raspberry Marshmallows

    Makes lots (about 30 portions), takes about 30 minutes.

    Handful of freeze-dried raspberries
    3 tablespoons of freeze-dried raspberry powder
    2 tablespoons icing sugar
    2 tablespoons cornflour
    8 gelatine leaves
    450g granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon glucose syrup
    3 large egg whites (about 120g)

    – Line the base a sides of a large roasting tin (about 20x30cm, but it doesn’t matter too much) with non-stick baking parchment.
    – In a small bowl, mix one tablespoon of the raspberry powder with the icing sugar and corn flour. Sieve half of this mixture into the base of the lined tin so it is evenly covered.
    – In another small bowl, sit the gelatine leaves in COLD water.
    – In a heavy based pan on a medium heat, heat the granulated sugar, glucose syrup and 150ml water, stirring until it is all dissolved. Bring this sugar syrup to the boil, do not stir any more and continue to boil until it reaches 116°C.
    – While the sugar is doing it thing, in a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
    – Once the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature, take it off the heat and leave it to sit for a couple of minutes.
    – Remove the gelatine leaves from the water, squeeze out as much water as possible and pat dry with kitchen paper. Add the gelatine to the sugar and stir until melted.
    – With the mixer on slow, trickle the sugar syrup over the beaten egg whites (try to miss the whisk otherwise it gets messy). Once it is all added, turn the mixer up to high and beat until the marshmallow is thick, light and cool to touch.
    – Add the rest of the raspberry power and whole raspberries.
    – Pour this into the prepared tin, tapping it flat, and leave to set overnight.
    – Cover a chopping board with non-stick parchment and sieve over the remaining powdered raspberry/icing sugar/cornflour mix. Turn the tray of marshmallow out on to this and cut into desired sizes, rolling in the dust as you go along.

    marshmallow-5 marshmallow-3 marshmallow

  2. Lemon & Blueberry Layer Cake

    December 12, 2015 by sarah

    I made this cake way back in the seemly long distant summer, for the tea party I held in our garden. Gosh, it seems so long ago that the sun was here especially as now the days are very short and what daylight there is is veiled in grey cloud and rain. I am dreaming of the lovely Ethiopian sunshine! Even my blue light therapy cannot dispel the winter blues!

























    But I chose to write up this recipe now as it has a sunny warm feeling about it. I wanted a light fruity cake to complement the heavier, richer cherry chocolate cake and lemon flavour always goes down well. And this cake ticked all those boxes; the light but flavourful sponge interspersed with bright bursts of blueberries, the bright sour flavour of the homemade lemon curd and the soft marshmallow of the Italian meringue topping enveloping the whole lot with a touch of caramel sugar where the blow torch caught as a foil against the floral tones of the elderflower. The list of ingredients and steps may seem an insurmountable hurdle but broken down into components, it really is not that a big a deal. You can make the lemon curd (you can find my fool-proof recipe here) a week or so in advance or buy a good quality one (I’m not judging). The cake layers (recipe adapted from here) can be made the day before and stored well wrapped in cling film. Only the assembly and meringue topping needs to be done shortly before eating. I was surprised by the keeping qualities of this cake. The meringue did weep terribly after about 12 hours but the syrup it produced kept the cake moist for several days!

























    If you have any lemon curd and meringue left over, you can easily make a form of lemon meringue pie – I made mini ones to have at the tea party. Marks and Spencer sell good quality ready made pastry shells which are so easy to use for this recipe.


    Lemon & Blueberry Layer Cake

    Cake Layers
    230g soft unsalted butter
    250g caster sugar
    100g soft light brown sugar
    6 medium eggs
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    360g plain flour, sifted
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    240ml buttermilk (or full cream milk with lemon juice added)
    zest and juice of 3 lemons
    275 of still-frozen blueberries, tossed in 2 tablespoon plain flour just before adding
    Jar of lemon curd
    Some plain or lemon buttercream (100g butter, 200g icing sugar, a little milk if necessary)
    Italian Meringue
    300g caster sugar
    200g egg whites
    1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1 teaspoon elderflower essence (I used Uncle Roy's, available here)
    Fresh blueberries for decoration.


    Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease and line the base of three 9″ cake pans. It is easier to make this cake in a stand mixer, but it is perfectly possible to use a hand mixer or even entirely by hand.

    Beat the butter with paddle attachment until creamy. Add the sugars and beat until well creamed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Beat together the eggs and vanilla. Add to the butter/sugar mix a spoonful at a time with the beaters on medium, adding tablespoons of the flour if it looks like it is separating.

    Sift the dry ingredients (remaining flour, salt and baking powder) over the wet mixture, beat very slowly and then start adding the buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice. Do not over mix otherwise it will be tough – it is better to so the last bit by hand. Toss the blueberries into the flour and fold in. Spoon the batter evenly into the three prepared tins.

    Bake the three layers on the same shelf on the oven if possible and they will take 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven, cool in the tins and do not proceed until they are completely cold.

    Stick the bottom layer of the cake to the serving dish with a blob of buttercream. Pipe a ridge of butter cream around the outer edge of the top of the cake layer – this is going to act as a dam to stop the lemon curd running out from the layers! Spoon the lemon curd into the centre, as much as you dare and then place the next cake layer on top and repeat the buttercream dam and lemon curd and then sit the final cake layer on the top.

    Make the Italian meringue by placing the sugar in a saucepan with 175ml water and bring to a rolling boil; place in a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat to soft peaks. When the sugar syrup has reached 115°C, slowly trickle in down the side of the bowl of egg whites while they are going at high speed. Continue to whisk the meringue on high speed for about 10 minutes during which time it will thicken and cool but it is easier to use when still warm. Whisk in the elderflower essence if using and spoon into a piping bag. Use some of the meringue to cover the top first, smoothing with a spatula, then piping vertical lines (it is easier to go from bottom to top and it leaves nice spikes on top too) so that the whole of the cake is covered. If you have a blow torch then run it over the meringue to colour it. Dump some fresh blueberries on top, and an individual one on the top of each piped blob!

  3. Nougat

    October 27, 2015 by sarah

    I love real nougat but usually only get to enjoy it at festive times. A couple of weeks ago I had some egg whites left over and felt in the mood for something sweet and decadent and decided to give it a try. The other option was marshmallows but I don’t like marshmallow so nougat it was. Nougat is a chewy sweet made with sugar and egg whites with nuts and dried fruit. This is ‘white nougat’ a traditional candy from Italy (“torrone”), France and Spain (“turrón”), though weirdly in Germany, gianduja (a smooth mixture of hazenuts and chocolate) is traditionally called nougat. So give this recipe a try and make some artisan nougat!

























    This recipe makes loads of nougat – you could half the recipe if you don’t think you could eat it all or give it away. This recipe is a combination of this one from Great British Chefs website and from Miss Hope’s Chocolate Box book of splendid recipes.


    Artisan Nougat

    400g caster sugar

    100g liquid glucose

    125g runny honey

    2 egg whites (1 used 3 medium egg whites, about 100g)

    pinch of salt

    200g toasted whole almonds

    40g pistachios

    75g dried sour cherries

    rice paper

    Line the base and sides of a square tin with rice paper.

    Put the sugar, honey and liquid glucose in a large heavy-bottomed pan with 125ml water. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar and then place in a sugar thermometer and bring the mixture to the boil.

    As water is driven off, the temperature will rise; boil to 125°C.

    Place the egg whites in a stand mixer and beat until they form stiff peaks but no further.

    Continue to boil until 145°C is reached, then put the mixer onto medium speed and slowly and steadily pour the hot sugar over the egg whites while they are being beaten.

    When all the sugar is added, add the salt and turn the speed up and beat for 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy.

    Fold in the nuts and fruit then press the mixture into the prepared tin and cover with more rice paper, pressing the mixture so it is level. Alternatively, place between two large sheets of siliconised paper and roll to make an even 2cm thickness. Allow to cool before cutting with a lightly oiled knife. It helps if you clean and oil the knife between each cut.


  4. Aioli or mayonnaise and Spring vegetables

    May 17, 2015 by sarah

    I feel a bit of a cheat putting this recipe up; it takes all of 10 minutes to make. If you think mayonnaise is difficult or time consuming to make, then think again, as Mr Oliver would say. And this aioli recipe is like garlic mayonnaise turned up to 10. Just the way I like it and perfect for serving with some lightly steamed vegetables, or chips, or really anything. And like mayonnaise, you can make the recipe your own; try adding cayenne pepper, fresh herbs or lemon zest and juice.




    Recipe from Jamie Oliver.

    1 garlic clove (I used smoke garlic I brought back from the Isle of Wight)
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1 free-range egg yolk
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    about 500ml oil - do not use all olive oil as has too strong a flavour, try half olive oil and half rape-seed oil
    pepper and lemon juice to taste

    In a pestle and mortar, grind the salt and garlic until a fine paste is made. Scrape this paste into a large bowl that is sitting on a non-slip mat. Add the mustard and egg yolk and with a large balloon whisk or hand mixer, mix well together. Then slowly add the oil. Add the oil VERY slowly to start will, drip by drip, but you can be a bit freer when most of the oil has been added.

    Season to taste with pepper and lemon juice, using the lemon juice to slacken the mixture if you need it runnier.

    This will keep for a few days, covered in the fridge.



  5. Maple Pecan Ice cream

    April 19, 2015 by sarah

    It may seem a strange time of year to have an ice cream recipe but if the heating is on or a fire burning, then why not? Anyway, the weather we have been having over the past few weeks makes me think that this might be the summer so enjoy it while it lasts! Either that or it is global warming and we are all stuffed. Never mind, have some ice cream instead.

    ice cream-002
























    You don’t need an ice cream maker to make ice cream; it is just easier with one. If you don’t have an ice cream maker then take the partially frozen ice cream out of the freezer every couple of hours and blend in a food processor or with a stick blender. I only have a very simple ice cream maker which you put the bowl in the freezer for 24 hours before hand. It works fine but I need to let the bowl defrost a little before using it otherwise the mixture freezes solid as soon as it is poured in!

    ice cream-001

    Maple Pecan Ice cream

    150g pecan nuts
    2 egg yolks
    50g soft brown sugar
    200ml milk
    175ml maple syrup
    300ml double cream

    Toast the pecans in a moderately hot oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, roughly chop. Leave to one side.

    Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and mouse like. Gently heat the milk in a non-stick saucepan until almost boiling then pour over the egg/sugar mix, whisking constantly as you do. Return this to the pan and heat gently while stirring continuously. The custard mixture is thick enough when a finger leaves a trail on the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool fully (overnight in the fridge is best).

    Whisk the double cream until ribbon stage then mix in the cooled custard and maple syrup. Use this mixture to make the ice cream following the instructions of your ice cream maker or the freezer/food processor method. Approximately 2-3 minutes before the end, add the chopped pecans.

    Store in the freezer and eat within a month.

    ice cream-003

  6. Swiss Roll – Great British Bake Off Challenge

    October 25, 2014 by sarah

    After watching ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and lamenting the end of the current series, I decided to challenge myself to make something something from the series that I hadn’t attempted before. My husband always chuckles at me when we watch GGBO because I tend to make comments like ‘that’s wrong’, ‘that’s going to fail’, ‘I wouldn’t do it like that’ etc. However I don’t think anyone in the real world would make their own filo pastry – that is what machines with big rollers are for! On our honeymoon on Crete we did watch an eighty-odd year old man make and stretch filo pastry by hand over a huge wooden table in his bakery and it was a joy to behold. Anyone else though, just go to the supermarket!

    But back to the task in hand, in other words the Swiss roll. I have to admit that even I, a keen baker, has never made a Swiss roll before. Why, when Marks and Spencer make a perfectly good one in all yummy flavours. Well, I can tell you now (after the cake is made and entirely eaten) that homemade always tastes best; soft, moist and no nasty chemicals to make it stay that way for multiple weeks on a supermarket shelf! Have a go yourself.

    swiss roll-001

    This recipe is from ‘Merry Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book’ from BBC books. It worked great and I achieved that nice tight spiral – Mary Berry would be proud! Only thing wrong is that it stuck to the parchment paper as it cooled, despite generous liberations of caster sugar, so the skin partially peeled off. I fear I would of been marked down because of that.

    Swiss Roll

    Makes one Swiss roll – feeds 6-8
    5 medium eggs (weight 250g minimum) at room temperature
    100g caster sugar
    finely grated rind of 1 lemon
    100g self-raising flour
    4 tablespoons lemon curd
    100ml soft whipped double cream
    Preheat the oven to 220 ºC/fan 200 ºC.
    Line a 33 x 23 cm Swiss roll tin (I used a roasting tin of the same measurements) with baking parchment.
    Whisk the eggs, sugar and lemon rind in a large bowl until the ribbon stage (took me about 10 minutes with my hand mixer).
    Sift over the flour and then carefully fold in . Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and tip the tin so that the cake mix is evenly spread and reaches the corners.
    Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes until the sponge is light golden in colour and beginning to shrink away from the edges of the tin, but be careful not to overcook otherwise it will dry out ande be impossible to roll.
    Place a piece of baking parchment a little bigger than the size of the tin on the work top over a tea towel. Sprinkle the paper with caster sugar.
    Invert the cake on to the paper while still warm, remove the paper it was baked in,  trim off the edges (a cooks perk – you get to taste it first) and score a mark 2 cm from the shorter edge, but do not cut all the way through. Roll up the cake firmly from the cut end and leave to cool rolled up.
    Only fill when completely cool. Unroll, spread with the lemon curd then the cream and roll up tightly again. Sit on the serving dish with the seam side downwards.
    swiss roll-004

  7. On quiches and tarts

    July 17, 2014 by sarah

    I make a quiche – or the posh word for one, a tart – about twice a month. If you buy the pastry it can be surprisingly quick to make. I make my own pastry every now and then to keep my hand in but there is nothing wrong with bought pastry for an everyday quiche. Making quiches is how I overcame my fear of making pastry. They also freeze well so I tend to make a medium sized one that lasts the two of us two nights of dinners (any longer and I get fed up) and the spare pastry makes another 2 to 4 mini quiches which I freeze for lunches. Makes a perfect light dinner with a green salad and possibly some new potatoes if we are extra hungry.

    There is a huge variety of fillings and combinations that can go into your quiche, just try to use something that doesn’t give out too much moisture as it cooks otherwise you will end up with a very soggy quiche – yuck! There is nothing worse than wet quiche and soggy pastry. So that means avoiding spinach and other greens in the filling and if you use vegetables like mushrooms or courgettes then pre-cook them to drive off some of the moisture. Here are some alternative filling suggestions:

    • smoked salmon and asparagus or purple sprouting broccoli – also nice if you replace the cream with creme fraiche
    • pancetta or smoked bacon and strong cheese such as cheddar or Gruyere – classic quiche Lorraine
    • oven roasted cherry tomatoes (or the sunblush semi-dried ones), basil and Parmesan
    • red onion and three cheese – caramelise some red onions in a frying pan
    • leek and cheese – soften leeks in butter, choose a strong cheese like Gruyere
    • poached salmon and new potatoes – again creme fraiche would be good in the filling and perhaps some herbs
    • fig and blue cheese – halved or quartered fresh figs, good amount of a good blue cheese

    What is your favourite filling?


    Goats Cheese and Aspargus Tart

    320g pack shortcrust pastry – leave out of the fridge for 10 minutes so easier to use.
    150ml single cream (double cream or creme fraiche can be substituted, in which case I would reduce the amount and increase the milk to compensate for the extra richness)
    150ml milk
    4 whole eggs
    100g asparagus tips – blanched or steamed until just cooked, allow to cool.
    100-150g pack of soft/fresh goats cheese, usually in a mini log
    Makes a 20cm diameter and 2 mini quiches – you need loose bottomed flan tins with deep sides (the cheap ones tend to be too shallow)
    Use the pastry to line the flan tins. Try not to stretch the pastry as you bring it up the sides of the tin otherwise it can get very thin and holey. Press the pastry into the corners and fluting of the tins – a ball of left over pastry is perfect for this. Trim the edges by rolling a rolling pin over the top of the tin so the pastry is cut on the edge of the tin. Then go around the edge of the tin and with your fingers gently push the pastry up the side of the tin so it sits a few millimetres higher than it. Prick the base all over with a fork (this stops the pastry bubbling). Put the pastry lined tins in the fridge for at least half an hour. If you can’t spare the time then pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes.
    Preheat the oven to 200º C/fan 180ºC.
    Bake the pastry cases blind for 20-25 minutes. To do this, cut out a square of baking parchment a few inches larger than the tin, scrunch up the paper, flatten out and scrunch again. Flatten out the paper and lay over the pastry, fill with ceramic baking beans, dried pulses or even copper coins. Doing this cooks the base so you don’t get a soggy bottom and the baking beans stop the sides from collapsing. 
    Remove the paper and baking beans and return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and with a pastry brush, brush the pastry with one of the eggs (beaten) and return to the oven for 1-2 minutes. This egg layer means your pastry bottom really will not go soggy. Thank you Raymond Blanc for this tip!
    Turn the oven down to 160 ºC/fan 140 ºc.
    In a jug, beat together the eggs (and any remaining from the one used to coat the pastry), milk and cream with a generous amount of seasoning and some fresh herbs if available.
    In the pre-cooked pastry case, evenly spread the asparagus tips and slices of the cheese. Pour over the egg/milk mixture and carefully put in the oven on a middle shelf. Do not spill any egg mixture over the edge of the pastry case otherwise it will be impossible to get out.
    Cook at this lower temperature for 20-25 minutes for the individual tarts and 25-30 minutes for the larger tart. The centre of the tart should be just set but still have a little wobble. Cool the quiche in the tin for at least 15 minutes before removing and eating.

  8. Rhubarb semifreddo

    July 3, 2014 by sarah

    Here is another recipe that uses up eggs. Can you tell that we have an egg glut at the moment? I also didn’t realise that chickens love rhubarb leaves. I wonder if it makes the eggs taste of rhubarb? Anyone noticed? Rhubarb leaves are supposedly toxic due the high levels of oxalates they contain, but either birds excrete oxalates in a different way to mammals or the chickens are slowly poisoning themselves. I have had to resort to netting the plants to prevent the chickens getting to them; for their sake and the poor rhubarb plants!

    This recipe is delectable, especially enjoyed on a lovely sunny evening like today. It tastes like rhubarb and custard in the most unctuous, dreamy state imaginable. Once served, it is cold but not icy like ice cream can be; all the better for taking large bites of. I like to serve this dessert with roasted rhubarb. Roasting the rhubarb means it keeps it shape and dries it slightly so it is not soupy like stewed rhubarb can be. Cut the rhubarb into 2cm lengths, lay single depth on a roasting tray or dish, sprinkle with caster sugar and roast in a medium oven for about 20-30 minutes. Enjoy!


    500g rhubarb
    120g caster sugar
    2 egg yolks
    2 tablespoons elderflower cordial
    250ml double or whipping cream
    Chop half the rhubarb finely and add to a pan with 100g of caster sugar plus the elderflower cordial. Bring to simmer and with lid off cook until very soft. Puree with potato masher or hand blender or pushing through a sieve. The other half of the rhubarb cut into 2cm lengths and arrange in singe layer on a baking dish, sprinkle with couple tablespoons sugar, cook in oven until soft (about 180 C for 3o-40 minutes). Leave to cool and then store in a ceramic or glass dish in the fridge until ready to serve the semifreddo.
    Make the sabayon base: in bowl over a pan of gently bubbling water, whisk the egg yolks and 20g caster sugar until light and fluffy and pale. They should triple in volume. Take off heat and allow to cool.
    In another bowl whisk the cream to soft peaks then fold in the pureed rhubarb and sabayon.
    Line a 2 lb loaf tin with two layers of cling film. Pour in the creamy mixture. If you have left over meringues or almond biscuits, crumble over the top. Fold over the cling to seal the surface of the semifreddo and place the tin into a carrier bag. Put in the freezer for at least 4 hours, ideally over night. When you want to serve, put the tin in the fridge for half an hour, turn out onto a plate and serve with the roasted rhubarb.

  9. Meringue nests – Uses for eggs!

    June 15, 2014 by sarah

    Meringue. A word that can instill fear into the heart of even the most experienced cook. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and usually you can never work out why. But understanding more about eggs and the chemical reaction that makes meringue can help demystify it and hopefully prevent so many failed egg dishes. Though I can knock out a batch of meringues without much thought, I still get some disasters though they always taste better than they look! A meringue is never a failure, you might just have to opt to serve Eton mess rather than neat nests. There is nothing better than sweet meringue, smooth and silky cream and tart berries.

    meringues (7 of 9)

    Eton mess

    meringues (8 of 9)

    Strawberry meringue nest

    Egg whites consist over 90% water and various proteins make up the rest. When you whisk egg whites, you are breaking down the protein structure so that the protein strands lengthen and air bubbles become entrapped within this lattice structure. When whisking egg whites it is very important to have scrupulously clean bowl and whisk. I prefer a metal or bowl as it is supposed to help the egg whites trap more air or if using a glass bowl, I clean it first with kitchen paper with a little vinegar and left to dry. It is also very important not to get a single speck of egg yolk in with the whites so it is a good idea to break the eggs individually into a small bowl before adding the whites to your larger bowl to avoid messing up the whole lot. A drop of lemon juice or a pinch of cream of tartar is often added to the egg whites at the start of beating as it is supposed to help stabilise the bubbles. This is unverified; I think I need to do more experimentation to see if it makes a noticeable difference. Very fresh eggs whisk the best as the white is firm and not runny. This is part of the reason why I got chickens of my own. Interestingly, fresh eggs make awful hard boiled eggs as they are impossible to peel! Remember that eggs you buy in the supermarket will probably be at least a week old by the time you buy them and the ‘best before date’ will be up to 5 weeks after they were laid!

    When you start whisking eggs, start on a slow speed for a minute or so before increasing the speed. The soft peak stage, as used for souffles and mousses, occurs when you lift the whisk out of the egg whites and the peak slowly folds over into the mixture. The bottom of the bowl may feel slightly liquidy and slip around the bowl. The stiff peak stage happen fairly soon after so keep watching and testing. Egg whites beaten to this stage are used for meringues and you can tell when you have reached this stage as the peaks when you lift out the whisk are firm and do not sag. Also the whole bowl should be whisked to the same stage so at firm peak stage you should be able to turn the bowl over your head and not get a santa hat of egg whites! To prevent meringues from weeping when cooking, you must make sure the sugar is thoroughly dissolved in the egg whites and that you use very fine sugar.

    I don’t know if equipment matters too much when whisking meringues; after all, it used to be done with a hand whisk. Think of those muscles! I use a handheld machine but would love a stand machine, especially if it came with whisk attachments rather than the all purpose ones I currently have. I am not sure it would make a huge difference to my meringues, but there is only one way to tell! I do put a silicone mat under the bowl as I whisk to prevent the bowl from spinning off the counter.

    There are three types of meringues and I will give the recipe for simple ones below. Swiss meringues are probably what we are all familiar with. The egg whites are beaten to soft peak stage, half the sugar is added and whisking continues until stiff peaks are achieved and the mixture is glossy; then the rest of the sugar is folded in. This mixture is suitable for simple piping like the nest I made for the afternoon tea or pavlova layers or toppings for pies, but it must be used quickly other it turns back to liquid. Italian meringue is made by adding hot sugar syrup to whisked egg whites and whisking until cool. This meringue is more stable and is the best choice for piping delicate items. Cooked meringue, also known as meringue cuite, is made by whisking the egg whites with the sugar in a bowl over boiling water and this is the most stable type of meringue.

    One final note on making meringues and that is you MUST use baking parchment, also known as silicone paper, to line the trays. Greaseproof paper has a wax coating that resists water so is used for wrapping and layering food and with sticky food like dough, but the coating melts in the oven so the food then sticks to it unless you pre-grease it like for a sponge cake. Baking parchment has been treated so that the non-stick properties do not disappear in the heat of the oven; essential for high sugar foods such as meringues, macaroons and even sponge cakes that you do not pre-grease the paper lining the tin such as genoese sponge.

    meringues (9 of 9)


    Simple Meringue Recipe

    4 large egg whites, cold from fridge – about 120-150g of egg white if mixed egg sizes
    pinch of cream of tartar
    225g caster sugar
    Preheat the oven to 110 ºC/ fan 100ºC and line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment/silicone paper.
    Tip the egg whites into a large bowl and whisk on slow speed until foamy and then add the cream of tartar. Continue to whisk on medium speed until soft peaks are reached and just turning to stiff ones.
    Turn the speed up and add the sugar a dessert spoonful at a time, beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition.
    Once half of the sugar has been added and the egg whites are glossy, add the rest of the sugar in one go and beat for a few seconds more until well mixed and not granular when touch between you fingers. But try to resist over beating. If you over beat, put in the fridge until cold again and try again. Theoretically you should fold in the last half of the sugar but I find it doesn’t mix in well so you get sugar bleeding in the finished meringue or to fold it in well enough the mixture becomes deflated and becomes sloppy.
    Pipe or soon the mixture on the lined baking trays – you can only manage rough shapes with this type of meringue.
    Bake for about 1 and half hours. I cook for an hour then prop the oven door open and let them cool in the oven and this leaves the meringues with a soft, chewy centre. If you like them dry all the way through then cook for the full 1 and half hours at least.
    When cool, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or frozen indefinitely.
    meringues (1 of 9)

    Step 1 – whisk egg whites to soft peak stage.

    meringues (2 of 9)

    Step two – make sure you move the beaters around the bowl.

    meringues (3 of 9)

    Step three – add the sugar a spoonful at a time.

    meringues (4 of 9)

    Step four – keep beating until stiff and glossy.

    meringues (5 of 9)

    See – stiff peaks, shouldn’t slide out the bowl.

    meringues (6 of 9)

    Step five – pipe as required on to baking parchment.


  10. What to do with all those eggs? Recipe for Creme Caramel

    June 10, 2014 by sarah

    There once was three chickens
    Called Mrs Red, White and Blue,
    They laid so many eggs
    I didn’t know what to do,
    So I made some meringues,
    Ice cream and creme caramels,
    That used up lots of eggs
    And then all was well.

    Mrs Red, White and Blue enjoying the sun in the garden.


    Mrs Red enjoying rhubarb leaves.

    My girls are currently on full steam with the egg laying. Which means I get at least two eggs every day and three eggs most days so a potential of about 20 eggs a week. Even with selling a box or two at work, it still leaves a lot of eggs for eating! Many are eaten at breakfasts, lunches or light dinners as boiled, poached, scrambled or baked eggs with various accompaniments but this usually leaves a box or two of eggs and me wondering what to do with them. So here is my go to list for inspiration when there are eggs to use and cooking to be done. If I spy a recipe I want to use that uses yolks, I make sure I also have an egg white recipe in mind, and visa versa, though egg whites do freeze well if necessary.

    –          omelette
    –          Frittata/tortilla
    –          Quiche/tarts
    –          Soufflés
    –          Mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce
    Sweet – whole eggs
    –          Sponge cake especially Genoese sponge/swiss roll/roulade
    –          Clafoutis
    –          Choux pastry e.g. profiteroles
    –          Pancakes/crepes
    –          Cheesecake
    –          Lemon tart
    –          Bread and butter pudding
    –          Custard Tart
    Sweet – whites
    –          Meringue, pavlovas
    –          Angel food cake
    –          Macaroons, of various types
    –          Mousses and soufflés
    Sweet – yolks
    –          Lemon curd
    –          Gateau Breton
    –          Custard/creme anglais – therefore accompaniment to stewed fruit or a steamed pudding and of course, the base for making
    –          Ice cream
    –          Crème patisserie – filling for fruit tarts or a base for trifles



    Lovely bowl of fresh eggs.

    And now for the recipe – a delectable smooth and creamy favourite – creme caramel. When homemade, it is a million miles away from the insipid stuff in pots in the supermarket or even the ubiquitous pudding option in any food establishment pertaining to be remotely French. It works because the creamy coolness of the just set custard is counter balanced by a caramel that is a bit acid or tart so you must get enough colour on the caramel to get that.

    _1SK6775 _1SK6779

    Creme Caramel

    500g milk (whole milk ideally or fat reduced milk with splash of cream, though I have used semi-skimmed and it turns out fine)
    1 vanilla pod
    4 medium eggs
    50g sugar
    Caramel – 50g sugar
    Put the milk into a non-stick heavy based pan, split the vanilla pod and add the seeds and empty pod to the milk and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse until ready to use. Heat oven to 150 C/fan 120 C.
    Make the caramel by heating the sugar with 1 tablespoon of water in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat. If the sugar is crystallising around the edge of the pan, wipe around the edge with a silicon pastry brush dipped in water. Continue to bubble until a deep golden colour is reached and then pour the caramel directing into the bottom of 4-5 ramekins. Watch out as hot sugar is very hot and will burn. Allow to cool then grease the insides of the ramekins with a little butter.
    In a bowl whisk the eggs and remaining sugar until combined but do not continue to whisk (adding air bubbles at this stage will put air bubbles in your creme). Strain over the infused milk and whisk in. Strain this egg and milk mixture into a jug and use to fill the moulds evenly.
    Sit the moulds in a roasting tin and pour boiling water around the outside until comes half way up ( a bain marie – lovely name, means Mary’s bath) and cook in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until just set (should still wobble a little). Take out of the water and allow to cool entirely and then refridgerate before unmoulding. To unmould, run you finger around the top of the custard to prise it away from the ramekin, sit the base of the ramekin in hot water for 30 seconds then up end over a plate. Serve immediately as the caramel will lose its colour.