Mushroom meringues are usually associated with the traditional French dessert Bûche de Noël, but I like to make them on their own as a creative, delicious, and gluten-free addition to cookie plates during the holidays. This recipe comes from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts.
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These ghoulish meringues are simple to make, but even more fun to serve: personalize your skulls with funny faces to add some sweet charm to your Halloween fete.
Sort of like the love child of Pavlova and Trifle, this confection, consisting of crushed meringue cookies, freshly whipped cream and sugar-coated berries (usually strawberries) takes its name from the venerable Eton College, where it is traditionally served at the school's annual cricket game against Winchester College.
I once thought that I didn't like meringue cookies. The ones from the store always reminded me of styrofoam and never had enough flavor to be worth my time. Then, in culinary school, I started messing around with chocolate left over from a molding lesson and some unused egg whites and I wound up with a meringue cookie to die for. They have a great texture and deep chocolate flavor—plus, they're gluten-free!
The recipe began eerily similar to macarons: the almonds and confectioners' sugar whirred together to make a light, floury powder instead of a dense paste. When the egg whites were mixed in, the batter held its airiness. Piped onto the cookie sheets, the soft, peaked domes baked perfectly—puffed-up and crisp on the outside with that perfect chewy-meets-light inside, plus a super charged almond flavor from the ground almonds and extract.
Lemon meringue pie was one of my favorite childhood desserts, and seeing all of those gloriously tall, peaked pies in diner display cases inspired me to try out this Lime-Marshmallow Pie from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz. Judging by the photo that accompanied the recipe in the book, this pie looked like a challenge. Was there any way I could replicate the lovely swirls and peaks in my home kitchen?
[Flickr: freakgirl] In my experience we all tend to fill up during the savory part of the holiday meal, leaving the sweet meal-enders barely touched. In an effort to cope with this dessert neglect I purpose offering a cookie plate...