These meringues are flavoured with toasted flaked almonds, a little cocoa inside the mixture and more cocoa dusted over the top.

The recipe was inspired by another out of Damien Pignolet’s french cook book. I had made a berry tart and the custard for the tart required several egg yolks. As a result I had egg whites to spare and not wanting to waste anything, I decided to whip up some more treats. These desserts were for my Marie Antoinette party. It was such a fun night.

It all started in my french class where I was learning about French history. This lead to me reading more about Marie and Louis (you know the King and Queen of France from the 17th century, the poor things had their heads chopped off!) and then one evening I just started searching on the internet for Marie Antoinette paraphernalia. I found the most gorgeous lollipops! They are a Marie Antoinette head… yes just the head on a stick, and so began the idea for a dinner party. I have included some photos of the night. Please feel free to laugh at us in our wigs.

We had stuffed artichokes for entrée followed by filet de boeuf roti en croute de champignons, which is a kind of french version on beef wellington. I also made scalloped potatoes and a salad.  We were all very french and had some wonderful french cheeses after. One was a goat’s and cow’s milk cheese and the other was called Langres, fromages de france Germain. It is a soft cheese with a crinkly rind.

Of course the “piece de resistance” was the dessert. I made a berry tart, a  passionfruit bavarois and the almond meringues.

We finished the meal with coffee and chocolates and the Marie Antoinette lollipops or sucettes.

I had a wonderful time and I hope my guests did too.

Recipe

Ingredients

4 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon of white vinegar

240 g caster sugar

100 g toasted flaked almonds

cocoa powder for dusting and 2 tablespoons for the mixture

Method

Preheat the oven to 100C, and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Beat the egg whites until frothy in a Kitchen aid or with a mixer. This can take several minutes. Add the vinegar and increase the speed a little then add sugar in about 4 additions. Continue beating until soft peaks form.

Fold in toasted almonds and cocoa powder.

Use two dessert spoons and drop rough mounds onto the prepared baking tray. Bake for 1 hour then reduce temperature to 70C and bake until dry (about 30 mins more).

Dust with cocoa before serving.

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