Wow, what a week this has been. I am known as someone very fiddly at times, who can hardly sit down and just do nothing. After all, my partner complains that I always wake up very early at weekends to do things. Truth is, I can’t just keep still. Anyway, this week came to climax with the latest YTI event, where we met some of the translation agencies working in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Very interesting, especially as each presentation was followed by Q&A session which provided plenty of useful pointers. As you might know, I am a practising translator and interpreter, so events like this really provide you with useful contacts and pointers. You might also be interested to know that, after a couple of weeks of real sunshine, the weather has now gone back to the bleak and grey British standard one. Very disappointing, it’s like we completely skipped summer and went straight for autumn.
Anyway, if you want to keep summer at your doorstep (or, rather, in your kitchen), please try these. Raspberries are not only used to sandwich the two halves, but are also used in the meringues themselves. The result is a chewier and more caramelised meringue, with plenty of flavour. Add chocolate, cream and more raspberries and you get a very summery dessert. The name is quite evocative, if you think about it. It makes me think of the Italian Baci di Dama biscuits. However, these are bigger and more satisfying, if you like meringues. Making meringues is not as fiddly as you might think. In fact, these are pretty straightforward. The recipe comes from one of my many Food & Travel magazines.
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 220g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 200g raspberries, crushed to a coarse pulp with a fork
- 175g dark chocolate
- 500ml double cream
- 1 tbsp amaretto
- 1 tbsp cherry or raspberry liqueur
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C. Line two baking trays with baking parchment (or Silkopad mats, perfect for meringues).
- Whisk the egg whites in the squeaky clean bowl of a freestanding mixer, until light and frothy. Slowly and gradually, add the caster sugar, whisking on high speed until it has dissolved and the mixture is thick and glossy.
- Add the vanilla extract and vinegar, then dust the cornflour onto the surface and add half of the crushed raspberries. Gently fold these ingredients in until fully combined, trying not to deflate the meringue.
- Transfer the meringue mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle, then pipe 3-4cm peaked rounds onto the baking parchment. Bake for 1 hour, swapping the trays halfway through baking. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues to cool in the oven for another hour, then remove and cool completely.
- While the meringues are cooling, chop up the chocolate very finely and place it into a heatproof bowl. Heat 250ml double cream in a saucepan, then take it off the heat before it reaches boiling point. Pour onto the chocolate, add the amaretto, let it stand for a good 3 minutes, then mix to combine. Place the chocolate ganache in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes, mixing occasionally, until it has thickened. Transfer the ganache to a piping bag (no nozzle needed).
- Mix the remaining crushed raspberries with the cherry/raspberry liqueur. Whip the remaining cream, then gently fold in the berries. Also transfer to a piping bag.
- To assemble the kisses, pipe a layer of chocolate ganache onto the flat side of one half, followed by a layer of raspberry cream. Sandwich together with the other meringue half, then set aside. Place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes, then serve.