Friday 29 May 2015

chocolate and walnut meringues with salted caramel

Good morning! It's almost time for tea... If you're in Australia then you're probably aware of the Cancer Council's annual fundraiser Australia's Biggest Morning Tea; it's in full swing, aussies everywhere #RaiseYourCup to raise funds for vital research, prevention and support service programs.

I don't think I know a family that hasn't been touched by cancer, and while there are so many worthy organisations that need support, the Biggest Morning Tea is a good fit for me.

This year JJ from 84th & 3rd and I are hosting a Virtual Biggest Morning Tea and we'd love you to take part! JJ has a way with words (and cake) so I'm borrowing hers...

If tax-deductible charity donations are your thing...
  • Click on through to our ABMT page and drop a coin in the bucket (thanks!)
If cooking and blogging are your thing...
  1. Make a morning tea treat - sweet or savoury, it's up to you - and post it on your blog between now and the end of June
  2. Click on through to our ABMT page and drop a coin in the bucket (thanks!)
  3. Send JJ a link to your Virtual Morning Tea post and we will add you to the lists at the end of our posts
If neither are your thing...
  • Go hug (or call) someone you love

I wanted to make alfajores; those crumbling, melting mouthfuls of caramelly deliciousness from America Latina. I don't have a great relationship with dulche de leche out of a can and haven't had success making it, so I changed the recipe. Big mistake. So what do you make at 10 o'clock at night when you're tired and want to whip up something pretty?

Meringues. They are no nonsense, work every time, and I'm pretty much guaranteed to have the ingredients in my kitchen somewhere. I found the eggs and sugar, even added chopped walnuts and dark chocolate too! I made them small. Beautiful, dainty and delicious, you can always have more than one, or heap them in a bowl with whipped cream and salted caramel. Morning tea can be a party, South Americans like to party...

meringues with chocolate and walnuts (not alfajores)

3 egg whites
165g caster sugar
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
pinch cream of tartar
60g walnuts, chopped
40g dark chocolate, chopped

• pre-heat oven to 100ÂșC, line a baking sheet with baking paper
 put the sugar, egg whites and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer, lightly whisk together to break up the sugar
 place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, make sure the bowl does not touch the water, whisk the egg whites until the sugar has dissolved, they have increased in volume and feel hot
 put the bowl on the stand mixer, add the cream of tartar and whisk until the egg whites are marshmallowy and are cool
 fold 40g of the walnuts and 30g chocolate through the meringue, drop small spoonfuls of meringue onto the lined tray
 sprinkle the remaining nuts and chocolate over the meringue and bake for approximately an hour, until the meringues feel crisp and dry
 store in an airtight container, the meringues will keep for 2 weeks

salted caramel sauce

200g caster sugar
80g butter
120 ml thickened cream 
1 tsp sea salt flakes, optional 

• tip the sugar into a small/medium heavy based pan and heat on a medium to high setting, stirring until the sugar starts to melt
• continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar has melted, turned a lovely caramel colour and has started to smoke
• as soon as you are happy with the caramel, whisk in the butter, take care, it will bubble and spit 
• remove from the heat and whisk in the cream, if your caramel has formed clumps, return to the heat and stir until smooth
• off the heat add the salt flakes, pour into a clean jar and leave to cool
• once cool, cover with the lid and store in the fridge, it will keep for 2 weeks

Virtual Morning Tea Party

drop you coins in the bucket

JJ's kumquat upside-down tea cake

Sally's walnut and chocolate meringues with salted caramel

Ali's rhubarb, orange and hazelnut cake

Shez's lamingtons

 Sally's walnut and white chocolate brownies
Melissa's flourless choc-chunk cookie for, ahem, one

Nicole's sticky date cake with caramel custard cream cheese icing


Unknown said...

(not alfajores) - made me smile. ;)

simmer and boyle said...

Alison I haven't given up on them just yet! ;)

Trish said...

Love the cake stand, where did you get it?

simmer and boyle said...

hi Trish, I bought it from Chapters in Canada, i think the brand is Indigo, a bit of an inconvenient hand luggage item! Williams Sonoma had a very similar stand. Love all the marble and wood :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Sally.....I'm hopping over to check out the website for one!