This month's theme is Eggs. Very appropriate right now. Today, you get two recipes inspired by from Mrs Beeton, because I can't stand recipes that only use either whites or yolks and give you no suggestion what to do with what's left.
We're not following Mrs Beeton cosely at all here, since I don't have much truck with isinglass or gelatin, and I don't own a fire to cook over.
3oz Dark Chocolate
1/4 lb Sugar
1 1/2 Pints Cream
6 Egg Yolks
Small Pots (ramekins, tea cups, glasses, or similar)
Separate the Yolks and Whites of the eggs. Put the whites aside, and beat the yolks well.
Warm half the cream. Beat the other half until your arm hurts.
Melt the chocolate. My Housemate does this in the microwave, which I don't trust, so I'd use a bain marie (glass bowl floating in a suacepan of hot water).
Add the yolks, sugar, and the warm cream to the chocolate. Keep it in the bain marie (if you can stop it over balancing) to stay nice and warm.
Add any alcohol or liquer (brandy, rum, cointreau, and baileys are all nice) and stir until thick and smooth.
Fold in the whipped cream. It should be incredibly thick now.
Dollop into pots, and stick in the fridge to set. No one can eat too much of this, no matter how much they think they can.
If you want to be Eastery, stick some chocolate eggs in the top of each desert. Same goes for the next one, actually - meringue nests are always a good place to put eggs. As such, I've made the recipe chocolately, though obviously the original isn't.
6 Egg Whites
1/2 lb Icing Sugar
1/4 lb cocoa or hot chocolate powder (for the original, just add this amount of icing sugar)
Silicon paper or Baking Parchment (not greaseproof paper - so sayeth the voice of experience)
Beat the whites until your arm hurts. Beat them some more. Shake the pain out of your arms and go back to beating. Beat in time to music. Beat while staring desperately at the clock. Get someone else to beat the whites. Beat until the muscles in your arm are shaking.
Or use an electric whisk. Wimp.
Anyway, beat until they are stiff and fluff and stand up in peaks.
Sieve the suggar and hot chocolate powder (better than cocoa for this because it's sweet too) and fold into the whites.
Line your bakring tray with paper and dollop the mixture onto it. If it spreads, you didn't beat it enough, or you left it too long. Oops.
Cook on a low heat for about an hour. They should be crisp on the outside and sound hollow when you tap them (and shouldn't break beneath your fingers). You can pick them up off the baking tray without sticking and check the bottom, too.
If you want them crisp all the way through, turn the oven off and leave them there until it's cold. If you want them a little squidgy (I do!) take them out.
To make nests, use a spoon to make a hollow in the dollops on the tray, and one baked use a little whipped cream to make a secure seating for the eggs. Or, do it Eton Mess way and break up your meringues, mix them with cream, and make a nice big bowlful.
(Eton Mess, for those who don't know, is plain merinques, whipped cream, and strawberries. In a mess. Very good summery desert, and a lot of fun to do.)