I was feeling ambitious when I decided to try this recipe. This recipe can be made in one day or the meringues, lemon cream and chocolate-dipped nuts can be prepared 2 to 3 days in advance and assembled before serving. The meringues were easier to make than I thought. You can add food coloring to the meringue recipe if you want to make them a color. Although the lemon cream is delicious, I thought it would have more body. Napkin ready? When you bite into this sweet and tangy dessert, it’ll be messy. Spoon ready? You’ll want to scoop up every last drop. Happy baking, hon.
Lemon Meringue Ingredients:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar, super-fine if possible
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup either cornstarch or potato starch
2 cups water
juice of 3 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
3 egg yolks
1 (8-ounce) container whipping cream
*I had lots of extra lemon cream using these proportions and could have doubled the meringue recipe. The lemon cream was so delicious we just spooned up the extra and ate it.
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon margarine
6 hazelnuts or cashews
Allow the egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. If you are short on time, place the egg whites in a stainless steel bowl and set it in a bowl of warm water for 2 minutes to bring egg whites to room temperature quickly.
Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to the lowest possible temperature, 140 – 175 degrees F.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites with the salt about 5 minutes or until soft peaks form; the tips will curl. Gradually add the sugar, beating on high until stiff peaks form; the tips will stand straight and sugar will be dissolved. Fold in vanilla and almond extracts.
Evenly spread the meringues into 12 circles. Flatten slightly so they have a diameter of about 3 to 4 inches. Place the two baking sheets in the oven for 4 hours. When they are done, remove from the parchment; if the bottoms are sticky in the center, return them to the oven for longer. You want them completely dried out but not browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
When completely cool, place in an airtight covered container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch (or potato starch–whichever you’re using). Whisk in the water, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to boil over a medium-high heat. Cool for 15 minutes. Cover the top of filling with plastic wrap,making sure it touches the cream or a skin will form. Cool to room temperature or refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days in advance.
In a large bowl, with mixer at high speed, whip the whipping cream. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in 3/4* of the whipping cream into the lemon cream. Reserve rest of whipped cream for dollop on top.
*Next time I try this recipe, I’ll fold a little less whipped cream into the lemon cream so that the yellow color isn’t as diluted.
Over a double boiler or in a microwave, melt the chocolate with the margarine. Roll each nut in the chocolate and gently remove with a fork to a sheet of wax paper. Let stand until the chocolate is set and shiny; can be put in refrigerator for 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container until ready for use.
To assemble, spread half the meringues with lemon cream. Top with remaining meringues. Place a small dollop of whipped cream on the top of each “sandwich” and top with a chocolate dipped hazelnut or cashew. Serve immediatley.
Yield: 6 servings
Source: Susie Fishbein, Kosher by Design.