On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven swans a swimming.
Meringues with vanilla custard and chocolate sauce
I decided floating meringues would best represent a swan swimming on the seventh day of Christmas and have worked very hard to create an elongated neck line the Strictly Come Dancing judges would be proud of.
Getting this recipe right has been a technical challenge; baking meringue and making custard from scratch has proven to be a difficult task for a cook who doesn’t like to follow strict processes.
I added a good glug of Disaronno to my meringue mixture to give it an almond flavour which works well with the vanilla custard. It was quite sweet, but it is Christmas and a sweet tooth is one of many vices!
PS My swans were rather large and I couldn’t find a dish big enough for all seven to swim together which is why my picture has one swan swimming in a pond of custard and chocolate sauce rather than a sea.
For the meringues
- 4 egg whites (keep the yolks to make the custard)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 275 grams of caster sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons of amaretto liquor
For the custard
- 4 egg yolks
- 25 grams of caster sugar
- 500ml of milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate sauce
- 50 grams of dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon of syrup
- 2 tablespoons of double cream
Makes 8-12 meringues depending on size.
- Preheat the oven to 140 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs whites and salt until they start to form soft peaks.
- Add half the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
- With a large metal spoon, fold in the remaining sugar and amaretto liquor.
- Spoon blobs of the mixture on to a baking tray that has been lined with greaseproof paper. To create the swan like look I lifted the spoon of the top of the meringue to create a peak.
- Bake in the oven for 1 hour.
- For the custard, heat the milk in a saucepan, bring to the boil and then allow this to cool slightly.
- In a separate blow whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract.
- Gradually pour the milk into the bowl.
- When combined, transfer the custard back to the saucepan and simmer for 8-10 minutes until it thickens.
- In another saucepan over a low heat, melt the chocolate together with the syrup and cream – whisk until a sauce has formed.
- Pour some of the custard into a bowl, drizzle over some of the chocolate sauce, place the meringue on top and enjoy.