Meringue-amisu & eggnog ice cream
Pavlova is an Aussie Christmas classic, and a delectable way to enjoy fresh Australian eggs and in-season fruit. But this year, we’re thinking of an egg-white dessert with a difference. Australian Eggs has (literally) whipped up an outstanding treat that combines the light and airy sweetness of meringue with the richness of tiramisu. Enter the meringue-amisu!
To help you create a meringue-amisu to die for, take this quick meringue masterclass from Australian Eggs. It’ll help you build the perfect festive table centrepiece. And since it’s been a tough year and we all deserve to let loose a little, we’ve also shared a recipe for eggnog ice cream. The added booze is optional, but considering 2021, highly recommended.
Tips on how to perfect your meringue
1. Choose 1 dozen egg cartons with a total weight of 700g. This will ensure you’re using the correct sized (59-60g) eggs.
2. Any trace of egg yolk or grease on your bowl or whisk can stop your meringue from reaching full volume. Avoid this by washing equipment in hot soapy water, wiping clean with a little white vinegar and drying thoroughly.
3. Separate your eggs when they’re cold and allow egg whites to come to room temperature. Chilled eggs are easier to separate, and room temperature egg whites will whip to a greater volume.
4. Stiff peaks are reached when the meringue stands straight up when beaters are lifted.
5. To check the sugar has completely dissolved, rub a small amount of meringue between thumb and forefinger. Mixture should be smooth and not grainy.
6. High humidity can reduce the volume of your meringue.
7. If meringues begin browning, turn the oven temperature down by 10°C.
8. Cracks can form if there’s a sudden change in temperature, like taking the meringues out of the oven straight away or letting the heat out by opening the oven door. Leave meringues in the oven until completely cooled.
9. Moisture can build up inside the oven, preventing the meringues from drying out. Wedge your oven door ajar with a wooden spoon to prevent this.
10. Meringue can be made up to 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container in a cool spot.
This recipe is best made at least 3-4 hours before serving. The meringue will soften slightly, and the ganache and mascarpone cream will set firmly. This will make it easier to cut.
Prep time 1 hour (plus refrigeration time)
Cook time 2 hours (plus cooling time)
For the hazelnut meringue stack:
6 egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
1½ cups (330g) caster sugar
¼ cup (25g) Dutch cocoa powder
1½ cups (150g) hazelnut meal
Extra cocoa powder and grated dark chocolate, to decorate
For the Frangelico coffee ganache:
900ml thickened cream
3 tbsp instant coffee granules
300g dark chocolate, finely chopped
⅓ cup Frangelico liqueur
For the mascarpone cream:
900ml thickened cream
½ cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 x 250ml tubs mascarpone cheese
1. To make hazelnut meringue stack, preheat oven to 100°C (fan-forced). Line three large baking trays with baking paper. Draw a 30cm x 20cm rectangle on each. Turn paper over.
2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until foamy. Continue beating, adding the sugar 1 tbsp at a time, until mixture holds stiff peaks. This should take 8-10 minutes. Continue beating for a further 1-2 minutes or until sugar has completely dissolved.
3. Sift in cocoa powder and add hazelnut meal. Fold in carefully until just mixed through. Divide evenly among prepared rectangles. Smooth tops.
4. Bake for 2 hours, or until crisp. Turn off oven. Cool meringues in oven, with door ajar.
5. To make the Frangelico coffee ganache, bring cream and coffee to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat.
6. Place chocolate in a large bowl and pour over hot cream. Stir until chocolate has melted. Refrigerate, covered, for 2 hours, or until cold.
7. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix in liqueur and beat the ganache on medium speed until firm and a piping consistency. Spoon mixture into a large piping bag with a 1.5 to 2cm star nozzle.
8. To make the mascarpone cream, beat cream, sugar and vanilla to soft peaks. Gently beat in mascarpone until a dollop consistency.
9. To assemble, place one meringue onto a serving platter. Spoon over one-third of the mascarpone filling. Pipe with half of the ganache. Repeat these layers with remaining meringues, cream and ganache, finishing with a layer of meringue and mascarpone cream.
10. Dust with cocoa and decorate with grated chocolate. Refrigerate until serving.
Eggnog ice cream
This recipe requires an ice cream maker. Homemade ice cream freezes harder than commercial ice cream, so remove from the freezer 5 minutes before serving to let it soften slightly. Homemade ice cream is also best eaten within 4-5 days and must be stored at -18°C or in the coldest section of the freezer. For best results, only churn very cold custard.
Makes 1 litre
Prep time 15 minutes, plus churning and chilling time
Cook time 10 minutes
600ml thickened cream
1 cup full-cream milk
2 tbsp bourbon, rum, or brandy (optional, but hey, it’s Christmas)
1 cinnamon quill
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
6 large egg yolks
1 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Chopped pecan, waffle cone shards and ground cinnamon to serve
1. Heat cream, milk, spirit of choice and spices together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until mixture just comes to the boil, stirring occasionally. Set aside for 10 minutes to infuse the flavours. Remove and discard cinnamon quill.
2. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl with electric beaters until pale in colour and thickened. Mixture should fall in thick ribbons when lifted with the beaters. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the warmed cream mixture.
3. Pour egg yolk mixture into the saucepan containing the warmed cream and heat over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10-12 minutes or until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Ensure that it doesn’t boil.
4. Remove pan from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover surface of custard with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight until cold.
5. Churn cold custard in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers’ instructions. Spoon into a clean container and cover the surface with cling film. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours or, for the best results, overnight.