Co­conut-Chai Meringue Break­away

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - ARTS & LIFE -

Start to fin­ish: 2 ½ hours (30 min­utes ac­tive) Makes 16 cook­ies 4 green car­damom pods 2 star anise 2 whole cloves Pinch of fen­nel seeds 1 ml (¼ tsp) grated nut­meg 1 ml (¼ tsp) ground black pep­per 1 ml (¼ tsp) ground dry gin­ger 10 ml (2 tsp) hot wa­ter 10 ml (2 tsp) honey Hefty pinch of saf­fron 4 egg whites 1 ml (¼ tsp) cream of tar­tar Pinch of salt 180 ml (¾ cup) sugar 160 ml (2/3 cup) unsweet­ened shred­ded co­conut

Heat the oven to 95 C (200 F). Line a bak­ing sheet with kitchen parch­ment.

Break open the car­damom pods, plac­ing the seeds in a mor­tar or a spice grinder and dis­card­ing the shells. Add the seeds from the star anise, dis­card­ing the star shell. Add the cloves and fen­nel. Pound with a pes­tle or grind un­til you have a pow­der. Stir in the nut­meg, pep­per and gin­ger. Set aside.

In a small bowl or cup, com­bine the hot wa­ter, honey and saf­fron, smash­ing the saf­fron with the back of a spoon. Set aside.

In a large bowl use an elec­tric mixer to beat the egg whites, cream of tar­tar and salt un­til very foamy. About 15 ml (1 tbsp) at a time, add the sugar while con­tin­u­ing to beat, beat­ing un­til all of the sugar is in­cor­po­rated. Con­tinue to beat un­til thick and glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 min­utes. Gen­tly stir in the spice mix­ture and half of the co­conut.

Spread the mix­ture onto the pre­pared bak­ing sheet. Drop small drib­bles of the saf­fron mix­ture onto the sur­face, then swirl with a but­ter knife or a tooth­pick to make bright yel­low saf­fron-honey swirls. Sprin­kle with the re­main­ing co­conut. Bake for 2 hours, or un­til dry. Al­low to cool. Break into pieces and store in an air­tight con­tainer at room tem­per­a­ture for about 1 week (if kept very dry and away from hu­mid­ity). Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 50 calo­ries; 20 calo­ries from

fat (40 per cent of to­tal calo­ries); 2 g fat (2 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg choles­terol; 25 mg sodium; 8 g car­bo­hy­drate; 1

g fi­bre; 8 g sugar; 1 g pro­tein.

Alison Lad­man is a chef, food writer and recipe de­vel­oper for The As­so­ci­ated Press. She also owns The Crust and Crumb Bak

ing Com­pany in Con­cord, N.H.

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