from one generation to the next
It makes inspiring reading if you’re avoiding wheat in your diet. Dedicated to baked goods, not one gram of wheat flour is used. Medrich’s book is about baking with flours made from alternate grains and nut meals.
I’ve made cakes, muffins and pastry and now meringues using a range of flours; rice, oat, sorghum, buckwheat and chestnut flour. The flavours have been outstanding, though a couple have lacked structure on the palate, something to tackle in the future.
This is the first time I’ve made meringue with any added flour, excluding pavlova of course, where it’s an absolute necessity for a soft marshmallowy centre. The result was classic meringue, sweet, dry, crisp and melt in the mouth. The buttery nut flavour of chestnut and walnut combined made these meringues very, very moreish.
I made my meringues man sized but after tasting the delicious flavour I envisioned dainty meringue sandwiches with coffee butter cream filling.
I’m sure there’ll be more pesky egg whites lurking in the fridge soon.
Chestnut and Walnut Meingues is published in Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich. I have rewritten the recipe in my own words.
Chestnut ’n’ Walnut Meringues
25g chestnut flour
75g walnut pieces, roughly chopped
150g castor sugar
3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 120C.* Line two oven trays with baking paper.
In a small bowl combine the chestnut flour, walnuts and 65g of the sugar.
In a stand mixer whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar into soft peaks
Slowly add the remainder of the sugar to the egg whites in small quantites, whisking continuously into a stiff meringue.
Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl then thoroughly fold them through the meringue with a silicone spatula.
Drop dessertspoons full of meringue onto the oven trays allowing space for them to puff slightly.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, turning the trays and swapping shelves occasionally to ensure even cooking.
The meringues will feel dry when cooked.
Turn off the oven heat and leave the meringues to cool in the oven.
Makes 24 large meringues.
* My meringues began colouring after just 20 minutes at 120C so I reduced the oven temperature to 100C. They cooked perfectly