Recipe Number One Hundred & Eighteen: Page 365.
I had never heard of this meringue dessert before; its flavours certainly sounded interesting. I love bananas and coffee but I can't ever remember combining them together. I couldn't wait to give it a try; I felt certain it would please my taste buds!
I was a bit worried about attempting this dessert as the morning had not really gone very well. Everything I had touched had gone wrong and then, just as I went to make a start, I realised that I had lost my Baking Bible. Neil helped me with the search; we looked under the sofa, behind the sofa, in the kitchen and even under the bed! I found myself aimlessly calling out for Mary!! I feared that the search would be futile until I whipped back the living room curtain and found it, sitting on the windowsill of all places. I'm quite sure it looked pleased with itself! I was so annoyed to have wasted almost half an hour looking for it! I marched the book into the kitchen and plonked it firmly on the worktop!
I needed to make the meringue first of all. This, of course, is not too challenging; it just takes rather a long time. I whipped the egg whites until stiff and then proceeded laboriously to add a teaspoon of light muscovado sugar at a time, whisking continuously until the meringue was really stiff. Mary mentions that half caster sugar and half muscovado sugar can be used if a lighter meringue is preferred. I liked the idea of using just muscovado. I hoped this would produce a really tasty caramel flavour. I find getting meringues to the right consistency for piping to be somewhat problematic. It always ends up too soft. This time I was determined and spent longer whisking to make sure it would be stiff enough to pipe. It was a real pain filling the piping bag. I ended up smothered in the rich meringue. It was coming out of the top of the bag and all over my hands. I ended up eating the surplus and my goodness did I soon feel sick!! I untidily piped circles of meringue in a spiral pattern onto two sheets of baking paper. Now the two trays of meringue circles had to go into the oven on a very low heat to cook for just over an hour. I realised I was a little short of double cream, which was needed for the filling, so a trip to the shop was in order.
For the first time in my life I actually came out of a shop with exactly what I needed and nothing more; something must be wrong with me! Once home, I checked on my meringue circles. They were still soft in the middle. I ended up leaving them in the oven for almost two hours, which was a lot longer than the recommend time, and then of course I had to turn off the oven and let them cool down with the door ajar. However, I am glad I left them until they were properly cooked as, once out of the oven, they peeled easily from the paper. I whipped up an exceedingly unhealthy amount of cream. Now was the time to add the coffee flavour. For this I simply put a teaspoon of coffee granules into a cup and added the smallest of dashes of water to dissolve the coffee. I stirred this into the cream and then added the sliced banana. I spread all of the coffee and banana cream over the top of one of the meringue circles before placing the other circle on top. The finishing touches were just a dusting of icing sugar and yet more cream. It was a race against time as the light was fading fast and I wanted to take a photograph! Typically, the reusable piping bag sprang a leak, cream shot out and yet again I was smothered. I squeezed cream onto the meringue as quickly as I could before the whole bag erupted; hence it was not the prettiest of desserts!
The coffee and banana vacherin tasted delicious; I loved the coffee cream filling, while having bananas with it made it even more special. They make for a great combination. I am so pleased with my meringue; it is definitely the best I've made so far. Maybe I am finally getting the hang of making them! Neil had a large slice and then immediately went back for more. There is still some left. I think I'll just treat myself to another slice, only a sliver of course!!!
|Only a few calories per slice! ;-)|