Welcome my fellow foragers, Victoria here with my midweek musings. I woke this morning to an ephemeral mist settling over Sydney Harbour casting a violet hue to everything it touched. It put me in a blue mood – lets clarify – not a drag your feet on the floor, heave and sigh all the time mood, but just set indigo, violet and midnight on the mind.
My husband has been a dream this last week as I hurt my back and he well deserves a huge thank you in the form of some delicious dessert. With indigo and mist on the mind I settled on a lavender meringue with violets, Turkish delight and blueberry cream. He says he wants to eat healthy, that might just have to wait another week……or lifetime!
Prep time 30 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes + 3 hours
8 egg whites at room temperature (free range please – come on ladies, we need to stick together)
2 cups caster sugar
3 drops of lavender essence or 3 tbsp of fresh flowers ground by mortar and pestle
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp cornflour
500ml thickened (whipping) cream
2 Tbsp icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
4 pieces rose turkish delight, thinly sliced
2 cups frozen blueberries, defrost and mash 1 cup
16 violet flowers (use regular violet varieties not African violets which are not consumable)
Preheat oven to 100°C/225°F. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Beat the egg whites into a clean, dry bowl with an electric beater until soft peaks form. Over 10 minutes, slowly add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time. The mixture will become thick, glossy and have no grainy feel between the fingertips. Beat in the vanilla, vinegar, cornflour and lastly fold through the lavender. Divide the meringue into 8 high mounds on the lined baking tray. Sprinkle with dried lavender. Very gently place the tray in the center of the oven and cook for 45 minutes at 100°C. After this time turn the oven off but leave the meringues sitting in the oven for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight. The meringues should be white, crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, giving a hollow sound when knocked on the base. Transfer the meringues to a rack to cool.
Whip cream with vanilla and icing sugar till soft peaks form. Plate individual meringues with a large dollop of whipped cream, drizzle mashed blueberries, scatter loose blueberries and Turkish delight over. Sprinkle dried lavender to finish.
Enjoy, savour and devour!