I love meringue but have never been brave enough to try it myself. Always frightened it won’t thicken up. I’ve found that you shouldn’t be afraid of it, it’s easier to under whisk than over whisk. I was watching cookery programmes, no surprise there; I’m absolutely hooked on them, and Nigella Lawson made a fabulous Pavlova but with a difference. She made it coffee flavoured and it actually looked like a cappuccino. So pretty and she made it look so easy I thought…I’ll give it a go.
I love the coffee flavour and silky pale beige colour it has, like silk it’s a real favourite of mine. Fantastico Nigella!
By Nigella Lawson, Nigellissima
-250g Caster Sugar
-4tsp Instant Espresso
-4 Egg Whites
-1tsp White Wine Vinegar
-300ml Double Cream
-1tbsp Cocoa Powder, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F. Line a flat oven sheet with baking parchment and, using a 23cm/9inch cake tin, draw a circle on it.
Mix the sugar with the instant espresso powder in a small bowl and set aside.
In a clean, grease-free metal bowl whisk the egg whites until they are holding soft peaks. Keep whisking while you add the sugar-coffee mixture a tablespoon at a time.
When you have a firm, ecru-coloured meringue, fold in the cornflour and vinegar using a grease-free metal spoon.
Dollop the meringue mixture inside the drawn circle. Smooth and shape it with a spatula so that it looks rather like the crown of a boater: it must be flat on top.
Put it in the oven and immediately turn down to 150°C/gas mark 3/300°F and cook for an hour. Switch off the oven and leave inside until cool.
Once the base is cool, lift it carefully in its paper and place it top-side down on a flat plate and peel off the paper.
Whip the double cream until thick but soft and spread delicately over the top of the meringue. With a teaspoon, push the cocoa through a fine sieve or tea strainer to decorate the top, cappuccino-style.