Coconut kisses with ginger filly Chantilly and a strawberry slice
less than 30 mins
1 to 2 hours
Lorraine’s simplified version of French macaroons is sure to impress and they look just as pretty as the real thing.
Equipment and preparation: you will need a piping bag fitted with a 1½cm/¾in plain nozzle.
By Lorraine Pascale
From Lorraine Pascale: How to be a Better Cook
For the meringues
100g/3½oz desiccated coconut
200g/7oz caster sugar
4 free-range egg whites
For the ginger filly Chantilly
200g/7oz low-fat cream cheese
2½ tsp icing sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds only
2 knobs stem ginger (from a jar in syrup), really finely diced, plus 1 tbsp of the ginger syrup
8 medium-large strawberries, hulled, pointed ends trimmed and each one cut into 3 discs
For the meringues, preheat the oven to 110C/225F/Gas ¼ (80C fan). Line two large baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
Heat a large frying pan (without any oil in it) over a medium heat and toast the coconut for a few minutes until golden-brown and toasty. Tip into a bowl and set aside.
Meringues can be made by hand but it does take a long time. Using a hand whisk or a freestanding mixer makes the whole thing far more enjoyable. Put the sugar and one of the egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk for about 30 seconds on a high speed. Add another egg white and whisk for about two minutes more. The mixture will start to become quite thick. Add the remaining egg whites, one at a time beating really well between each addition. Whisk until the mixture is really, really stiff, white and shiny. It should become so stiff that if you turned the bowl upside down the meringue would not come out! It does take slightly longer to whisk it this way and it is a backward way of making meringues but the beauty of it is you cannot over-whisk this mixture even if you went off and left it for 15 minutes or so, so this method seems to work well for me! Finally, gently fold in the coconut until well combined.
Using a large spoon, scoop the mixture into a piping bag which has been fitted with a 1½cm/¾in plain nozzle. Pipe out 48 blobs spaced apart on the baking trays with each one measuring 3-4cm/1¼-1½in wide and with a little peak on the top (to be about 2cm/¾in in height). Bake for around 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the meringues are crisp on the outside but still a little soft on the inside. Swap the trays around on the shelves half way through the cooking time to ensure even cooking.
When the meringues are cooked, take them out of the oven and set aside to cool down. As they cool, make the ginger filly Chantilly. Mix all of the ingredients, except the strawberries, together well in a bowl and spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1½cm/¾in plain nozzle. Pop into the fridge until ready to assemble.
Once the meringues are completely cool, pipe a small blob of the ginger filly on the bottom of two meringue pieces. Place a slice of strawberry on one of the filly Chantillys and then sandwich it together with the other meringue. Repeat with the remaining meringues and filling to make 24 in total, arranging them on a large platter as you go. Serve straight away.