Hot summer afternoons are perfect for cups of tea in the garden under the shade of a tree with a delicate little sweet treat. Here is that perfect morsel.
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 pinch of table salt
- 110 g caster sugar
- 75 g icing sugar, sifted
- 100 g roasted hazelnuts, mostly skinned and coarsely ground
- freshly ground black pepper
Raspberry ricotta cream
- 200 g raspberries
- 2 tsp icing sugar, sifted
- 150 g ricotta
- 60 ml pure (pouring) cream
- 1 lemon, zest finely grated
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 100°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place your eggwhites and salt into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and mix on medium speed until they become white and frothy, about 2 minutes.
With the motor running, spoon in the caster sugar, in batches, then raise the speed a little, mixing until the sugar has dissolved and the whites are shiny looking, another 2-3 minutes.
At this stage, turn the speed to low as you add the icing sugar in batches. Continue whisking for another 5 minutes.
By this stage you will have delightfully thick and glossy whites. Use a spatula and fold in your hazelnuts and black pepper.
Use a large kitchen spoon to place 8 blobs of your meringue mix onto the lined tray. You want them to be kind of round and sitting up a little, with space between each one. Use the back of your spoon to slightly indent the top of each meringue.
Bake for 1 hour. At this stage, turn the heat off, open the oven door so it’s slightly ajar and leave the meringues to cool until the oven cools to room temperature.
Meanwhile, to make the raspberry ricotta cream, place the raspberries and icing sugar into a small saucepan over a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. The raspberries will be brightly coloured and give off liquid. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, place in a blender with the ricotta, cream and zest and blend until smooth. You will have a lovely pink, slightly thick cream.
Once you are ready to serve, place each meringue onto a plate and pile over a generous amount of the ricotta cream. Serve.
• The meringues can be made and kept in an airtight container for a good week.
Photography by Benito Martin. Food styling by O Tama Carey. Prop styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.
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