I was 20 years old when I had my first meringue. I was studying abroad in London and living with a sweet host family in Muswell Hill. They often had a “pudding” (aka dessert) after dinner. On this particular day they served my roommate and friend some meringue nests sliced strawberries on them. We were in love. The crunchy sweetness with the berry juice complimented each other so well.
Fast forward many years later my family enjoys eating meringues with fruit and whipped cream on many summer days. It’s a delicious recipe with very few ingredients: egg whites, caster sugar, vinegar, cream of tartar and your choice of toppings. For these meringue nests we topped with whipped cream, blackberries and strawberries. Another topping we love is lemon curd.
Meringue Nests (Makes 4-6 nests)
- 200g caster sugar (if you only have granulated sugar blitz it in the blender a couple of times until it’s finer)
- 100g egg whites (about 3)
- Pinch of cream of tartar (this helps build a stronger meringue)
- Preheat the oven to 400F . Line a half sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
- Toppings (ex. whipped cream, curds, jams, berries, etc)
- In the oven, heat the sugar in a deep baking dish for 5 minutes. This will produce a nice satin look to the meringues. Once done take out and put aside.
- Turn down oven to 250F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until they reach stiff peaks. Slowly pour in the sugar and continue to whisk for another 8 minutes.
- Scoop out 4 to 6 large spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. I like to use a basting spoon. With the back of the spoon I like to form a little dip for toppings in the middle of each nest.
- Bake for 1.5 hours. Meringues will be cracked and satiny when done.
- Cool on the tray. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
You might have noticed that my online shop isn’t open. I am taking custom orders so feel free to email me for quotes and availability. For now I am limiting orders until my kids go back to school. I’ll open up the online shop sometime in September.
This month I was able to offer some cake tasting boxes. I truly appreciated the feedback I received on them (lots of “doesn’t taste like gluten-free cake”. Yay!) I am planning to offer them quarterly. I’m also considering a quarterly cake (4” and 6”) club and/or cake bar (picture a cake pop in the form of a bar) pre-sale. I’d love to hear if that’s something you’d be interested in (email me: firstname.lastname@example.org!).
Here are a few cakes I made these past few weeks:
Okay friends, that’s it for now. Until next time!
This pasta recipe quickly became a favorite in our home. Well, a favorite for my husband and myself because my kids only eat like, five things for dinner (but that’s another story…). I came across it in “Tasting Rome”, by Kristina Gill and Katie Parla, a book chosen by my cookbook club. For our meeting, I made the Garlic, Oil, Peperoncino, and Roasted Tomatoes recipe and I was so glad I did. I absolutely loved how the roasted tomatoes paired well with the saucy pasta. It’s a great recipe to add on different garnishes. I slowly adapted it, changing things here and there. I’m excited to share it.
Gluten-Free Penne Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Pine Nuts
-1.5 Lb cherry or grape tomatoes
-2 tsp dry thyme
-1.5 tb olive oil
-big pinch of sea salt
-12 oz box of preferred gf pasta (I use Jovial penne pasta)
-salt for water and for taste
-1/2 c olive oil
-2 to 3 smashed garlic cloves
-1 peperoncino or 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
-1/3 c of toasted pine nuts
-handful of shredded fresh basil leaves or arugula for topping (optional)
-grated parmesan for topping (optional)
1. Halve the tomatoes. In a large bowl, mix oil, thyme, sea salt and tomatoes together. Set the tomatoes on a half baking sheet, cut side up. Bake at 225F for 2 to 2.5 hrs. You want them almost dry but still a bit juicy.
2. Cook pasta according to pasta’s directions. Save about 3/4c of pasta water. This is really important because later you will need the starchy water to emulsify with the garlic oil to create a sauce. Leave the pasta in the pot.
3. While pasta boils, in a small frying pan toast pine nuts until golden brown. Set aside in bowl. In the same pan, heat oil on low with the smashed garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Put in peperoncino or red pepper flakes, cook until fragrant, 30 seconds or so.
4. Pour the oil mixture onto the pasta and mix together. Turn the range on low. Pour some of the starchy water into the pot and mix in circular motions, working to emulsify the oil and water that are in the pot. You may not need all the water. Keep an eye on it and mix until the sauce has come together.
5. Mix in the toasted pine nuts and tomatoes to the pasta. Add salt to taste.
6. Plate and add in any toppings. Enjoy!
In LPW baking kitchen news…I’m so close to re-opening. News of re-opening will be shared on social media so make sure you’re following me on Instagram and/or Facebook. I plan to kick things off with a bunch of cake tasting boxes and cake jars!
We are starting off the newsletter-recipe-share with a recipe I adapted very recently. It was such a winner I knew it would be a great place to start. I’ve come to love adapting recipes. I initially was nervous about changing and reworking recipes, but when our family was hit with two food intolerances (casein and gluten), adapting recipes felt less scary and became an absolute necessity.
I apologize ahead of time that this recipe isn’t easy. But it’s worth the work…hear me out. First: you will make gluten-free sourdough starter that can help feed you and your family for years (if cared for properly). My last (glutenful) sourdough starter was three years old before it met its untimely death. Or maybe it was timely because by that time we were eating less gluten and the poor thing was forgotten in the fridge? Anyhow, with that sourdough starter we would make pancakes every Friday for dinner (we love breakfast for dinner) for ages. We also tried waffles and pizza doughs with it. Never bread, I know, I know, bananas. I just never got the itch to make a loaf. Second: it’s delicious. I was surprised at how light and crispy the waffles are. I often make waffle batter, have one waffle, and leave the rest for the kids. Not this one. I happily ate waffles for a week. Third: This recipe is a great place to springboard into adapting recipes. Try different milks, or gluten-free flour blends, or if you want a super sourdough-y tasting waffle, let the mix in Step One age for two days or so.
Before you dive into waffle-making, you will have to make your starter. It will take a few days but it will be worth it. This is a great, detailed recipe for a sourdough starter here. Aran Goyoaga also has a fabulous gluten-free sourdough recipe in her book, Cannelle et Vanille. My starter was gifted to me but it was made using her recipe. My tips for keeping your starter healthy and alive: always use filtered or distilled water. I never had an issue with keeping my sourdough healthy (well, until I got lazy about it, but you will not get lazy about it. You will set a reminder on your phone to feed it weekly). Also, keep it in the fridge if you don’t plan to bake with it regularly.
My gluten-free sourdough waffle recipe is adapted from a recipe by The Perfect Loaf Blog.
- 460g (2 cups) buttermilk (Tip: in a 2 cup measuring cup put in two tablespoons of vinegar and then add your milk of choice until it hits the 2 cup line or weighs 460g. We use A2 milk or full fat coconut milk)
- 55g (1/4 cup) water (used to adjust batter consistency)
- 113g (1/2 cup or 1 stick) butter, melted and cooled (I find the best way to control the melting is on a stovetop in a saucepan, not the microwave)
- 100g (1/2 cup, stirred down) ripe sourdough starter
- 250g (2 cups) gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum (I love using Bob’s Redmill 1:1)
- 14g (2 teaspoons) sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 5g (1 teaspoon) sea salt
- 3g (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
Step One, the night before:
In a large sized bowl, add buttermilk and the melted and cooled butter. Then add your ripe sourdough starter and mix thoroughly. Add the sugar on top and whisk in your flour, slowly, bit by bit, until it all comes together. If the mixture is a bit stiff, using some of the 55g (1/4 cup) reserved water to thin it out until it resembles pancake batter. You should be able to pour it slowly from a spoon.
Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature overnight.
Step Two, in the morning:
Warm your eggs to room temperature by letting them sit for a few minutes in a bowl of warm water. Sift the baking soda and salt onto the top of the batter. Separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in one bowl (make sure it’s clean, if not the whites won’t whip!) and the yolks in another. Whip the whites until they form stiff peaks. Whisk the yolks and mix them into the batter. Now, with a spatula, gently fold your egg whites into the batter (please, oh please, do not skip this step. This makes the difference between a light crispy waffle and not) until they are no longer any clumps of egg whites. But don’t overmix, you will deflate the batter.
Now it is time. Spoon some batter into your waffle iron and cook away. If you want to keep them warm as you cook a bunch, I suggest keeping them warm in your oven (175F) on a sheet pan. But don’t stack them because the condensation will take the crispiness away.