Woodland Meringues
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December's Product of the Month are our wonderful Woodland Meringues. Over the next few days, we'll give you some background on these delectable delights and ideas on how to serve them, courtesy of Helen Goh, Ottolenghi's product developer. Keep an eye out for ‪#‎ProductoftheMonth‬
Q: Do you have any meringue-making top tips that you can share? A: Always make sure the bowl you are using to whip the egg whites is scrupulously clean and dry. If unsure, swipe the bowl all over with the cut side of a lemon to remove any trace of oil, which will inhibit the egg whites rising into a billowy meringue. Older egg whites at room temperature also whip up better than very fresh or cold egg whites.

Q: Do you have any meringue-making top tips that you can share? A: Always make sure the bowl you are using to whip the egg whites is scrupulously clean and dry. If unsure, swipe the bowl all over with the cut side of a lemon to remove any trace of oil, which will inhibit the egg whites rising into a billowy meringue. Older egg whites at room temperature also whip up better than very fresh or cold egg whites.

Q: Do some things really taste better when they are bite-sized?  A:  When a morsel of food is placed whole into the mouth, every single component can be tasted, saturating the mouth with flavour and maximising the textural experience. There is also something deliciously wicked about being able to have more than one – a whole bag perhaps, propped up on your chest while reclined, reading a good book with a cup of tea by your side.

woodland meringues by ottolenghi

Mocha and hazelnut woodland meringues £6.90 http://bit.ly/MHWMeringues  Bite-sized white meringue peaks brushed with dark chocolate and crushed hazelnuts: these are a great sweet treat to have around at Christmas time.

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Strawberry woodland meringues £6.90 http://bit.ly/SBMeringue  So-called because they look like little acorns, these bite-size meringue peaks, brushed with the classic Ottolenghi combination of white chocolate and freeze-dried strawberry, are very moreish indeed.

So-called because they look like little acorns, these bite-size meringue peaks, brushed with the classic Ottolenghi combination of white chocolate and freeze-dried strawberry, are very moreish indeed.

Q: Do you recommend serving them with anything, beyond a short black coffee or a cup of tea? A: A short black coffee or cup of tea would be perfect with them, although I also found during a tasting trial that the mocha hazelnut ones are unexpectedly good with a small chilled glass of frangelico and lime!

So-called because they look like little acorns, these bite-size meringue peaks, brushed with the classic Ottolenghi combination of white chocolate and freeze-dried strawberry, are very moreish indeed.

Q: Freeze-dried strawberries or mocha and hazelnut: which is your favourite? A: I am not usually a fan of the common pairing of berries with chocolate, but the freeze-dried strawberries and white chocolate really do taste like strawberries and cream – divine. And the chewy tang of the dried fruit is a lovely contrast to the crisp delicate meringue. But to my taste, you can’t beat the mocha hazelnut combo!

So-called because they look like little acorns, these bite-size meringue peaks, brushed with the classic Ottolenghi combination of white chocolate and freeze-dried strawberry, are very moreish indeed.

Q: How did you come up with the idea? They look rather like acorns. A: The idea came to me in when my three-and-a half year old son and I were at Kew Gardens. All around the grass and path were conkers and acorns of all different shapes and sizes. We collected a small basketful of them and I and set forth thinking of how those wonderful bulbs and spikes could be recreated in a sweet. Chocolate and chopped hazelnuts then provided the ‘dirt’ and ‘spikes’ to reference the ‘woodland’ setting.

So-called because they look like little acorns, these bite-size meringue peaks, brushed with the classic Ottolenghi combination of white chocolate and freeze-dried strawberry, are very moreish indeed.

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