Salted Almond and Orange Blossom Water Meringues
It seems to fitting to pair meringues with almonds and the flavour of orange blossom flowers; they all share the similarities of being pale and delicate. Because of the nature of the orange blossom, and the belief that they symbolise purity, these tiny flowers are seen as a traditional bridal flower in many countries and therefore, their presence at these auspicious occasions comes in many forms; including the traditional way to flavour to wedding cakes – what a romantic notion.
This meringue recipe produces the most incredible results and it will become one of your fail safe recipes if you need to whip something up as a quick, sweet treat.
Makes 10 large meringues
75g (3 oz) whole blanched almonds
1 tsp flaky sea salt
2 tsp water
350g (12 ½ oz) caster sugar
180g (6 oz) free-range egg whites (6 egg whites)
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp orange blossom water
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1. Heat the oven to 180°C on bake (or Vent Bake if you have it).
2. Scatter the whole almonds inside a small ovenproof dish, sprinkle over the salt and water and roast for 10 minutes, or until light-brown. Remove from the oven, chop the almonds coarsely and leave to cool.
3. Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread over the water and sugar. Put in the oven for about 8 minutes, or until the edges of the sugar just begin to dissolve.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 90°C.
5. As soon as the sugar is hot enough, start whisking the egg whites in a free-standing mixer. Once they begin to froth, carefully pour the hot sugar (using the baking paper) into the running mixer and keep on whisking on high speed for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is firm and glossy. Add the vinegar, cornflour and orange blossom water and mix on a medium speed for 20 seconds.
6. Fold in almonds by hand.
7. Secure a sheet of baking paper to your baking tray by placing a little bit of meringue mix at each corner of the tray. Use two tablespoons to scoop out and shape the meringues onto the tray, making 10 similar-sized, swirly balls. Sprinkle a few slivered almonds on top of each meringue.
8. Place the meringues in the oven and bake for 4 hours. Turn oven off and allow to cool completely before removing.