Demerara meringues with chestnut & chocolate cream

Demerara meringues with chestnut & chocolate cream

By
From
Baking
Makes
6
Photographer
Vanessa Levis

Demerara sugar is less refined than white sugar and still has much of the molasses left in the crystals, which gives it a distinctive, rich flavour. When used in making meringues, its flavour and texture make for a light meringue, pale bisque in colour. Dredging the tops of the unbaked meringue with a little extra demerara sugar adds a pretty, golden crystal finish. Demerara meringues make a decadent dessert when sandwiched with chestnut and chocolate cream. They also go well with whipped cream and a chocolate or caramel sauce on the side.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
115g demerara sugar
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup canned unsweetened chestnut puree
60g chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup cream
dark chocolate shavings, to decorate

Method

  1. Spread the sugar out on a baking tray and place in the oven at 100°C for an hour or so to dry out. Leave to cool then place in a blender or food processor and grind the sugar fairly finely.
  2. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then beat in half the sugar until the mixture is thick and shiny. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in the remaining sugar. To do this, cut gently down through the mixture and lift some up and over onto the top, repeating until the whites and sugar are lightly mixed. It is not necessary to mix thoroughly; if the mixture is overworked the air cells in the meringue will break down. To shape the meringues
  3. Dredge the tops with a little extra demerara sugar and bake in a 120°C oven for 1 hour or longer until firm. Gently lift each meringue off the tray, press the base with your finger while still warm to make a hollow and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes until crisp and dry. Leave to cool in the turned-off oven. Store in an airtight container until needed.
  4. To make the filling, heat the cream until bubbles are just beginning to form around the edge of the saucepan. Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the cream over it. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the chestnut purée and stir until smooth. If lumpy, rub through a sieve. Leave to cool completely, then whip the cream and fold into the mixture. Chill until the filling is thick but spreadable.
  5. Spread a good scoop of the filling onto the base of one meringue. Top with another meringue and place on a plate. Scatter with pieces of marrons glacés (poached chestnuts in syrup) and their syrup, or with shavings of dark chocolate, to decorate. Serve with a dollop of thick cream.

Note

  • You could also scatter the meringues with pieces of marrons glacés (poached chestnuts in syrup) and drizzle their syrup over the meringues.
Tags:
baking
bakery
margaret
fulton
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