Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Praline Pavlova Cookies

Makes 14

2 large egg whites
large pinch of ground cinnamon
90g caster sugar
50g pecan nuts, finely chopped

For the filling:
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced
100g icing sugar, sifted
50g plain chocolate

For the praline:
60ml / 4 tbsp caster sugar
15g finely chopped toasted almonds

Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until stiff. Stir the cinnamon into the sugar. Add a spoonful of sugar to the egg whites and whisk well. Continue adding the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well until the mixture is thick and glossy. Stir in the chopped pecan nuts.
Place 14 spoonfuls of meringue on the prepared baking sheets, spaced well apart. using the back of a wetted teaspoon, make a small hollow in the tip of each meringue so it looks like a little nest. Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes until dry and just beginning to colour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the filling, beat together the butter and icing sugar until light and creamy. Break the chocolate into even-size pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of barely simmering water and stir occasionally until melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Add the chocolate to the butter mixture and stir well. Divide the filling among the meringues, putting a little in each hollow.
To make the praline, put the sugar in a small non-stick frying pan. Heat gently until the sugar melts to form a clear liquid. When the mixture begins to turn brown, stir in the nuts. When the mixture is a golden brown, remove from the heat and pour immediately on to a lightly oiled or non stick baking sheet. Leave to cool completely and then break into small pieces. Sprinkle over the meringues and serve.

Once the filling is in the meringues they need to be eaten immediately (shame eh?), I kept my filling in an airtight container and assembled them over a few days. The praline lasted for a few days as well and they were really tasty!!

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