Over the past week, I’ve been house-sitting for my parents again. You might remember that, last time, I pouted because I thought I was getting blue cheese along with the house, but such was not the case. There may not have been blue cheese in the fridge this time, either, but there were an assortment of other goodies waiting for me upon my arrival (such as gourmet ice cream and soups, frozen corn, and permission to help myself to anything in the pantry).
As a result, I’ve been feasting like a queen on free edibles: rye toast with chilli jam, ice cream sprinkled with All Bran… okay, so maybe this doesn’t sound particularly exciting to you, but it was free! Free All Bran! Hurrah!
Plus, of course, there’s been the constant Internet access, being able to easily visit my beloved grandparents (both they who live up the road and she who resides over the hill), and this gorgeous face wanting to nuzzle me all the time:
Dear Parents: This photo is an optical illusion. I absolutely have not been letting Jedda up on the couch. Absolutely, postively not. Sincerely, your daughter with the growing nose.
Other benefits of house-sitting for my parents include their big electric mixer, and their pantry stocked with ingredients beyond my own budgetary allowance. It was my parents’ pantry, you see, that enabled me to make my magical three ingredient maple almond cake (using pricey real maple syrup and almond meal), and their big stand mixer that allowed me to make today’s recipe – my light-and-crispity-crunchety, sweet-yet-aromatic, can’t-stop-at-one Mini Chai Meringues.
As is patently obvious from the amount of sugar-flecked recipes I post here, I have a sweet tooth. What complicates this, however, is that my sweet tooth is more like a savoury-sweet tooth. I don’t enjoy super-sweet flavours, which probably explains my affinity for lemon-based, chilli- or salt-enhanced, and/or sugar-reduced desserts.
As a result, when I decided to make meringues, I couldn’t bear the thought of making just-sugar meringues. So I threw in some spices, and made what I hoped would be chai meringues. And you know what? They really do taste like sweet chai (at least to my mind).
What puts the figurative icing on the cake is that because these meringues are so sweet, they taste amazing when drizzled with peanut butter.
(Of course I went there. You should know me well enough by now to know I’ll put peanut butter on anything.)
Mini Chai Meringues
Makes 15-18, depending on size
- 2 egg whites, brought to room temperature
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 120°C, and line two baking trays/cookie sheets with baking paper.
- Place the egg whites and pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated and dissolved and the mixture is glossy. (To check if the sugar is dissolved, rub a bit of the meringue mixture between your fingers. You’re aiming to not feel graininess, or at least not much in the way of graininess.)
- Beat in the spices. Scoop out little spoonfuls of meringue onto the baking sheet, then place in the oven and bake for one hour.
- Turn oven off and leave the meringues in the oven for another two hours.
- Eat one meringue plain immediately, in order to revel in its spiced sweet airy mystique, then make sure you eat at least one spread with a little peanut butter or almond butter every time you find yourself in the kitchen. This will make your life happy.