from one generation to the next
Macadamia Nut Meringues will corrupt a child’s expectations about meringues!
Six egg whites leftover from custard were sitting in the freezer and playing on my mind. I’m not a big fan of dessert at the end of a meal, but I do like something sweet with a cup tea or coffee, so I thought I’d make coconut macaroons. I went looking for coconut in the pantry. The one cup of shredded coconut was about half what I needed. Next idea…
I make coffee walnut meringues with great success so why not use macadamia nuts. Recent house guests had bought me some macadamias grown in their area they’d almost all disappeared as illicit snacks. ( I can’t resist roasted macadamia nuts.)
In my eagerness to use up the egg whites, I made a huge bowl of meringue mix, spooned half into a second bowl and folded through the macadamia nuts. Into the oven went two trays of meringues. The oven was now full and my meringues are best cooled slowly in the oven so they crisp all the way through….the remainder of the mixture would not hold for 4 hours!
My tiny warming oven should cook meringue, I thought, constant gentle heat is all I needed, but then trays were a problem. If meringue cooks into pavlova, why not a slab I could break into pieces, so the remainder of the mix became a coconut meringue slab. It took 5 hours to dry out in the warming oven! More about what I did with it that here.
Australia’s culinary doyenne Stephanie Alexander suggests in her revised edition of “The Cooks Companion” that you measure your egg white volume, then add double the amount of sugar for a successful result. It’s a failsafe formula.
Macadamia Nut Meringues
3 egg whites ( a total of 100mls )
200g castor sugar ( fine granulated white sugar )
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
1 cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts
OR Substitute 1 cup shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 150C, not fan forced. Line your oven trays with baking paper.
In a clean metal bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Slowly add the sugar, whisking continuously. Continue to beat the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. (Test this by rubbing a small amount between your figures, any undissolved sugar will feel gritty.)
Fold in the vanilla essence and nuts. Drip dessertpoons full on the lined trays allowing enough space for the meringue to puff up a little.
Put the trays in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 100C. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool in the oven.
Makes about 40