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Swan Meringues

Swan Meringues

The meringue shapes can be made in advance and will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight tin.

Jean-Christophe Novelli A tip from
Jean-Christophe

This is one of the most therapeutic dishes to make. It is certainly worth the time and effort, plus it can be made in advance. I will never forget making this on my daughter Christina's first birthday.

Method

1. Using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar and a pinch of salt continue whisking until the whites are glossy, very thick and hold their shape.

2. Sift the cornflour and icing sugar over the whites and, using a spatula, fold in carefully and thoroughly, leaving no lumps.

3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Carefully transfer a third of the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe the swan’s necks on to the paper with one beak on each end, so that if one breaks off, you can use the other. It doesn’t matter if the quantity of meringue produces more necks than you need since it is difficult to remove them from the greaseproof paper without breaking and this will give you some room for error. Turn the remaining meringue into a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle. Pipe half of the mixture to make wings for one side using a left to right motion and the other half using a right to left motion.

4. Leave to dry in a cool dry place (not the fridge) for 24–36 hours.

5. When dry, remove from the greaseproof paper using a palette knife, being careful not to break the meringue.

6. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, making sure that the bottom does not touch the water. Dip a cocktail stick into the chocolate, then on to the swan’s head to make a dot of chocolate for the eye.

7. Have a cold serving plate to hand and scoop out the ice-cream to form a ball and place in the centre of the plate.

8. Carefully press the swan’s wings on to the ice-cream, then add the neck and head.

9. Decorate with the raspberries, strawberries and redcurrants. Serve immediately.

This recipe is taken from Jean-Christophe's 'Everyday Novelli' book.

Ingredients

  • 5 large egg whites, roughly 200ml
  • 200g caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour, sifted
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • 10g bitter chocolate
  • vanilla ice-cream
  • selection of red fruits (eg, raspberries, strawberries and redcurrants) or spiced mixed berries

Preparation time: 30 minutes