salted almond meringues

Last year my oven stopped working just as I was about to go overseas. I managed to get someone to fix it before I left, but the thermostat hasn't worked properly since then. If I try to turn the oven down below 160ºC, the gas goes out.

I love making meringues and pavlovas because they taste good but also because they're both low in fat. Unfortunately you need to bake meringues at a really low temperature, so I haven't made a batch in months. When I was back home last month I decided to try out this recipe for salted almond meringues from the Ottolenghi blog using my parents fancy fan forced oven.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Salted Almond Meringues - makes 6 medium size meringues
50 grams whole skinned almonds
¼ tsp Malden sea salt
½ tbsp water
170 grams caster sugar
3 free-range egg whites (about 90 grams)
½ tsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp cornflour
A few drops of essential orange oil or almond essence
1 tsp flaked almonds

Heat the oven to 180ºC. Scatter the whole almonds inside a small ovenproof dish, sprinkle over the salt and water and roast for 10 minutes, or until light-brown. Remove from the oven, chop the almonds coarsely and leave to cool down.

Line a separate baking sheet with greaseproof paper and spread over the sugar. Put in the oven for about 8 minutes, or until the edges of the sugar just begin to dissolve. As soon as the sugar is hot enough, start whisking the egg whites in a free-standing mixer. Once they begin to froth, carefully pour the hot sugar into the working mixer and keep on whisking on high speed for up to 10 minutes, or until the mixture is firm and glossy. 
Fold in the chopped almonds, vinegar, cornflour and almond essence.

Reduce the oven temperature to 140ºCSecure the parchment paper to your baking sheet by placing a little bit of meringue at each corner of the tray. Use two tablespoons to scoop out and shape the meringues onto the tray, making six similar, swirly balls. Sprinkle a few flaked almonds on top of each meringue.

Place the meringues in the oven for 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 120ºC and cook for another 50 minutes. When ready, the meringues should be nice and dry underneath and still a little soft in the centre.

I don't like the taste of almond essence so I used vanilla instead and I decided to make smaller meringues, so the recipe produced 12. I'm still not used to my parents oven so the meringues came out a little more golden than I would have liked and cooked right through.

So how were they? Well if I told you that I ate 11 of the 12 meringues by myself, would that answer the question? Pre heating the sugar gave it a caramel taste which I found delicious. When I get a new oven I'll be making these again.

I hope you had nice weekends. I visited my travel agent to start making plans for a work trip I'll be taking in September/October. I'll be in Montreal for a few days, followed by a week in Quebec City and close to a week in New York. The New York part of the trip is my holiday and as it's been a long time since my last visit to New York, I can't wait. If you have any suggestions for places to see, where to eat and shops to visit I'd love to hear them.

See you all again on Wednesday,




  1. Ohh these look delicious!! Exciting news about your next trip - our all time favourite plate we ate at while in NY was

    Amazing food and so well priced. Win win!!

  2. Thanks Alischa,

    I'll put that on my places to eat list when I'm in NYC in October. I love planning my trips.



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