Makes 6 individual desserts
This is a fantastic dessert for calorie counters… it feels decadent, tastes glorious, and is impressive enough for a dinner party with friends… all the while being friendly to your calorie budget.
I’ve tried making meringues with various sugar substitute products, but none of them really works – they turn out rubbery, or too chewy, or too brown, or with a weird chilly taste. However, when I ran the numbers through myfitnesspal’s recipe builder, I realised that using REAL SUGAR (shock, horror!!) doesn’t do irreparable damage. The meringue nests alone are only 70 calories each – a perfect base to top with whatever you choose. Here i’ve gone with a classic topping of mixed summer berries and whipped cream, finished off with a little fresh mint. Each dessert comes to 169 calories, but tastes like it’s a whole lot more! Delicious!
This recipe is very simple, takes no skill, just a bit of confidence! Note: If you’re having these for dinner, make the meringues in the morning as you need to leave them in the oven to go cold for a good few hours before serving.
Preheat your oven to 140°C, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Start by separating two egg whites into a very large, clean bowl. Using an electric hand whisk start whisking the egg whites till they become frothy, it can help to tilt the bowl to the side to help you lift the whites and get as much air into them as possible.
Once the liquid is frothy and white, and has about doubled in volume, start to add the sugar little by little, whisking well in between additions so that all the sugar dissolves before you add the next bit. Be patient here – it’s worth the time and effort.
Keep whisking till all the sugar is incorporated, you can’t feel any grains in the mixture, and it’s become nice and glossy. When you lift the whisk out, the mixture should stand up in firm peaks.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and gently spoon the mixture into little mountains on the paper, keep a good distance between them as they’ll expand while baking. Once you have your six mountains, use a teaspoon to gently shape a well in the centre of each mountain, gently spreading the meringue out and to the side to create your “nest” shape. Keep in mind that it will spread once it goes into the oven, so stay smaller than your desired end-shape.
Now place the sheet into the centre of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 120°C. Bake for 30 minutes until lightly golden. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside to gently cool and eventually get cold.
Just before serving, carefully ease the meringues off the parchment paper, fill each well with a little whipped cream and top with berries and a little chopped fresh mint.
RECIPE: Summer Berry Meringue Nests 169cals
Makes 6 individual desserts
- 2 large egg whites
- 3.5oz sugar
For the filling:
- ⅔ cup (5 fluid ounces) whipping cream
- ½ cup fresh strawberries
- ½ cup fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup fresh blueberries
- 4-5 leaves of fresh mint, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 140°C, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Separate 2 large egg whites into a very large, very clean bowl, and whisk till frothy and doubled in volume
- Slowly add 3.5oz sugar, little by little, whisking well between each addition
- Continue to whisk till the mixture is completely smooth, thickened and glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted out of the bowl
- Gently spoon 6 mountains of meringue onto the baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between them.
- Using a teaspoon, gently shape a well in the centre of each mountain, easing the meringue out into a nest shape as you do so. Bear in mind that the meringue will spread while baking, so go smaller than the desired end-shape you want to end up with.
- Place in the centre of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 120°C. Bake for 30minutes, or until lightly golden. Resist opening the oven door till right towards the end of the baking time just to check the colour – and then, do this quickly!
- When golden, turn the oven off and leave the meringues inside, with the door closed, as it cools. The meringues need to be cold before you take them out of the oven.
- Just before serving, gently ease the meringues off the parchment paper.
- Spoon a little whipped cream into each well, and top with mixed berries.
- Finely chop the mint leaves and sprinkle over the fruit. Serve immediately.
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