I love the serendipitous nature of things at times.
It's Secret Recipe Club** time again, and this month I was assigned to Shockingly Delicious, hosted by the lovely Dorothy. With 25 years of food writing and developing behind her, Dorothy has an absolute plethora of what she describes as "scrumptious, tried and true, scary good recipes" for her readers to choose from.
Difficult though it was to choose, I had shortlisted a few recipes from Dorothy's blog that I wanted to try: Mango Orange Cream Power Smoothie and Orange Things Fruit & Vegetable Smoothie - okay, I've been on a massive smoothie kick lately so there was no question they were going to be front runners on the list; Cheesy Skillet Gnocchi with Kale - I have a big weakness for gnocchi, and kale is very plentiful right now, making this a very strong contender in the mix; and Nutella Meringues - well, who even needs a "because" for Nutella meringues!!
And this is where serendipity comes into play. While I was in the midst of an inner debate between mango smoothies and cheesy gnocchi, a friend arrived to stay for a few days bearing a box of duck eggs collected from the brother of another friend. This occasioned a bit of a Google search for some information about using duck eggs, whereupon I discovered that apparently duck eggs make the best meringues. Well no prizes for guessing that the decision over which dish I would make was instantly nailed.
Further serendipity came today in the form of the sister of the provider of said duck eggs coming for lunch, and being able to serve her the Nutella meringues for dessert. Jennifer is not normally a woman of few words, but as she took a bite out of one of these babies, she had just four words to say ... "Oh. My. God. Awesome". What more can I say?! There is actually nothing that can be said about these meringues that is not summed up in those few words. For an "awesome" experience I urge you to try them too.
** Interested to know a little bit more about Secret Recipe Club? Then let me explain. The club has over a hundred members, divided into four groups, and each month one member is assigned (in secret) to another member from their group. That person then selects a recipe (or more) to make, photograph, and prepare a blog post - all in secret. Then everyone in the group posts their recipe on the same day, and of course the secret is then out. It's always a thrill to find out who has posted something from your own blog, and is a great way to meet and discover some new blogs. If you are a food blogger and interested in joining the Secret Recipe Club, be sure to check out the Join SRC page.
from Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
Makes 12 largish meringues
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
1/4 cup Nutella
3x large egg whites (duck eggs if you can get them are perfect, if not free range hen eggs)
pinch of cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of sugar
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F), and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Put Nutella in a small bowl and microwave for around 30 seconds to "loosen" the consistency. Allow to cool if it has become warm.
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until they are foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt, and continue beating until the egg whites reach a soft peak stage. Now increase the speed to high, and begin to add the sugar one spoonful at a time, beating well after each addition to ensure that the sugar is fully dissolved - be patient!! By the time you've finished the meringue will be very thick and glossy.
Add the Nutella to the meringue and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold the Nutella through - just enough to get a marbled effect. Don't over mix.
Using two spoons drop dollops of meringue onto the lined baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven. Turn the heat down to 95 degrees C (200 degrees F) and bake for one hour, by which time the meringues should feel "dry". Turn the oven off and leave meringues in the oven until completely cold.
Remove and store in an airtight container. Serve just as they are or sandwich together with whipped cream, then wait for the accolades.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and visit the links below to check out all the other great dishes my Secret Recipe Club friends made.