Vanilla bean steamed meringues with strawberries & chocolate sauce

I’ve baked meringue before, and poached it, but until recently, I had never imagined microwaving it. The veil was lifted from my eyes when I saw a gorgeous recipe for re-imagined lemon meringue pie. She uses a Swiss meringue, piped into molds and microwaved, and I just had to try it!

Vanilla bean steamed meringues with chocolate sauce and strawberries

The effect of cooking the meringue in the microwave is much like that of baking something in a water bath. The food cooks through, but in a way that neither adds nor subtracts moisture, so what comes out is meringue that has pretty much the same shape and texture as what went in – soft and light and fluffy, but firm enough to hold its shape. It’s quite amazing! Like eating a cloud. A sweet, creamy and utterly delicious cloud.

Vanilla bean steamed meringues with chocolate sauce and strawberries

Serves 6
Preparation time: about 45 minutes
Cooking time: about 15 minutes

Meringues

2 large egg whites
75g (1/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
the seeds from half a vanilla bean

Directions

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites and sugar together, then place the bowl over a pan containing a couple of centimetres (about an inch) of simmering water on low heat. The bowl should not touch the water. Whisk the mixture until the sugar has dissolved completely – you can test it by rubbing a little of the mixture between your fingertips. It should take just a few minutes.

Remove the bowl from the heat and, using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk, beat on medium-high until soft peaks form, 3 – 4 minutes.

Add the seeds from half a vanilla bean, increase speed to high and beat to firm peaks – another 3 minutes.

Spoon or pipe the mixture into silicon molds, making sure there are no pockets of air in them. Smooth the tops and cook one at a time in the microwave on high for 10 – 20 seconds, depending on the size of your molds. I used 6 silicon cupcake liners and cooked them for 20 seconds each. They will puff up towards the end of cooking, but will settle down again as they cool.

Turn the meringues out from the molds onto a wire rack to cool. They will sweat a bit, but that’s basically sugar syrup.

Chocolate sauce

Note: this will make more than you need, but it keeps well in the fridge and reheats easily (just add extra cream to thin it, if necessary) and it makes really, really good hot chocolate when added to milk. Or slather it on a warm croissant, like I did.

75g (2 1/2 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
75g (2 1/2 oz) milk chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp powdered (confectioners’) sugar
80ml (1/3 cup) whole cream
the seeds from half a vanilla bean

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan containing a couple of centimetres (about an inch) of simmering water on low heat, or in a double boiler. Stir gently until the chocolate has completely melted and everything is well combined and smooth. Add a little additional cream if required, to make it thinner.

Allow to cool, stirring occasionally – can be served warm or at room temperature.

Assembly

Strawberries

Directions

Transfer the meringues onto serving plates, arrange strawberries on the plates and drizzle everything with chocolate sauce.

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4 Responses to Vanilla bean steamed meringues with strawberries & chocolate sauce

  1. Jenn B says:

    This looks really interesting! The texture looks like it be close to eating a cloud but like a fluffy pudding. I can’t wait to try it out! Thank you sharing!

  2. Chelsea Singgar says:

    Omg, looks fab! Just making sure, use castor sugar and not icing sugar?

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