Almond meringue in simple and convenient desserts

Pavlova is a very popular, easy to make and much loved dessert, especially for the festive season. It is wonderful as a cake with fruits and berries, and it can be super easy as Eton mess, thrown together in a couple of minutes with broken meringue pieces, whipped cream and fruits. I want to offer another version of Eton mess, or any other desserts, made form a different type of meringue – almond or hazelnut meringue – made with a twist, baked in any shape or size you want, to be served as a cake, individual mini-cakes, or mess dessert. This meringue is even easier to prepare, it could be stored in a container with tight lid indefinitely and served at minutes notice with festive looks and refreshing taste. Below are some of the serving options:

Christmas tree individual cakes prepared for kids Christmas picnic in the park
Round roasted almond meringue as the base for a cake with whipped cream and berries
Portion size meringues served with whipped cream, roasted nuts, dried cranberries and homemade orange peel
Alternative meringue Eton mess
More traditional Eton mess served with berries

I want to mention several advantages of this meringue:

  • as Pavlova meringue this meringue, fully baked, can be prepared well in advance and stored for a very long time
  • it can be baked in different sizes and shapes, depending on the dessert type you want to offer
  • individual portion size meringue can be used with different toppings, allowing for cream variety to have any dietary restrictions, the meringue itself is gluten and dairy free
  • roasted almonds or hazelnuts, or their mixture add taste and texture to the meringue, thus diminishing overly sweet taste of a simple meringue
  • roasted nuts meringue is just a little more interesting, with the same easy, full proof preparation

The idea to use the meringue from Kiev torte (recipe here) in desserts came about because I wanted to have this meringue without extra sugar that comes from the cream in this layered cake. The original cake in wonderful, no question about it, but I though that using just plain whipped cream with only vanilla extract added, would be even better, as it allows to reduce sugar in a dessert, add taste and texture to meringue itself and give more choices for toppings in individual servings.

We personally enjoyed individual meringues with whipped cream and roasted nuts, dried cranberries and my own orange peel, stored in thick syrup. Broken meringues I used to make “Kiev mess” with the same toppings.

However, if served with berries, balsamic vinegar is a nice addition.

Ingredients for roasted almond/hazelnut (Kiev) meringue:

  • 200g egg whites (6 egg whites from large/extra large eggs)
  • 60g caster sugar (important to use caster sugar, not regular granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tea spoon of apple cider vinegar

separately

  • 160g almonds, lightly roasted, chopped, or ground but not too fine
  • 50g rice flour (I used relatively coarse rice flour MacKenzie’s brand)
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar

Preparation:

  • roast almonds for 15 min at 140-150C
  • let them cool down
  • blend roasted nuts to result in coarse mixture with all the textures present from medium size pieces down to almond meal texture
  • mix blended almonds with caster sugar and rice flour
  • whisk egg whites with added pinch of salt and vinegar until soft peaks
  • add caster sugar, 1 table spoon at a time, continue whisking after every sugar addition until all sugar is gone, and you reach stiff peaks
  • add the mixture of prepared dry ingredients (almonds, caster sugar, vanilla sugar, rice flour)
  • carefully mix in dry ingredients into egg whites, trying not to lose the volume
  • prepare baking tray, depending on what shape and size meringues you want to bake
  • from the quantity of batter from the above ingredients you can bake 2 or even 3 cake size 20-21cm meringues with the caving in the middle for toppings
  • if the batter is protected by the sides of the baking tin, and paper lining bake at 150C, fan forced on 2 or 3 levels simultaneously
  • small meringues bake at 135-140C
  • small individual meringues can be piped out with the help of the pastry bag with large diameter opening or wide opening tip
  • the best option is to use the tray with relatively high sides, line the tray with baking paper
  • bake in preheated fan forced oven for 2 hours
  • switch the oven off, leave baking pans in the oven, let them rest and cool until the next day
  • fully baked almond meringues are hard through, but with soft cream or whipped cream absorb moisture and become soft
  • desserts should be made just before serving

For kids Christmas tree mini cakes I used my vanilla cream for pastries with food colouring.

Happy festive season, and hopefully better 2022 year is ahead. Take care of yourself and your family!

2 thoughts on “Almond meringue in simple and convenient desserts

    1. I thought it was difficult, but it is absolutely reliable meringue. I even made several videos about this type of meringue. Had too many egg whites and experimented with different shapes.

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