Spring Coloured Meringues


When I first moved into this little apartment it was all sorts of crazy colours, there was purple, and lots of yellow and the living room was a bright Tiffany’s blue. And I hated all of them, I painted it all white, but the blue. For some reason I just needed the blue. After living here for 5 years, I think I’ve finally figured it out- it reminds me of the sky that we only get a couple months here.

See, Vancouver does this thing, this dreadful thing where it rains all the bloody time. It starts in late September, early October if we’re lucky and it keeps raining until May, or June, or sometimes, even July. I’m not joking, we sometimes only get 3 months of sunshine. Last year was one of those years, and maybe that’s why I feel like I’m struggling so much with it right now.

My saving grace in all this rain is the flower shop I live on top of. It regularly wins best florist in the city and with good reason, it has the most gorgeous blooms in every imaginable colour, all the time. And even when everything is grey and gloomy and damp when I walk out my door I see heaps and heap of fresh flowers. They even take the old roses and sprinkle their petals half way down the block, to bring a bit of colour even further. They really are the best.

So lately I’ve become obsessed with their colours, the soft peachy ranoculous, the bright red of the tulips, and these soft yellow roses, oh those roses. They give me hope that it is sunny somewhere in the world. And so I made these meringues to bring some more of that colour in, because in this dreary grey city, sometimes you just need colour.

Spring Coloured Meringues

6 Egg Whites

1/4 tsp Salt

2/3 cup Sugar

1 cup Icing Sugar

1 Vanilla Bean, OR 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Food colouring

Preheat your oven to 200F

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and the salt until they hold soft peaks. 

Tablespoon by tablespoon add in the granulated sugar, letting the sugar you added before be mixed in completely before adding in the next. 

Now let it keep running until it holds very stiff peaks, if you’re unsure just keep it on for another 20 seconds or so. It’s very important that it is very stiff. 

Add in your vanilla bean or extract. 

Now dump in all the icing sugar and mix that in- bring the speed down to low so the sugar doesn’t fly everywhere. 

Divide the meringue into as many bowls as you want colours- I did 4. 

Add the colouring and mix until they are all combined, or not and let it be swirly- it’s up to you!

You can use any piping tip you want to here, star tips are popular, so are just a plain circle. It’s up to you!

Now just pipe them onto trays lined with parchment or a silpat (don’t grease the trays though!! Your meringues will ruin if you do!) and bake for about an hour and a half until they are completely dried out. Check them every 25 minutes or so to make sure they aren’t getting any colour. If they are browning turn down the heat and rotate the trays. 

Allow to cool completely then eat, decorate, or put in baggies for gifts- these will store for up to a month in an airtight container. 

Salted Dark Chocolate Flourless Cookies

I’m not going to lie, I made these cookies entirely out of curiousity. King Arthur Flour, which gives recipes that usually involve, you know, flour, had a picture of the best dark chocolate cookies and said that they were flourless. 

The strange thing though, is that there is no starch in them. And no fat. They are not “healthy” cookies with quinoa flour and coconut oil. These ingredients are just flat out missing from the equation.  They are, by far the weirdest cookies I’ve ever made. Egg whites, cocoa powder, icing sugar and vanilla. That’s about all folks. 

Fudgey isn’t quite the right word for them even though that’s how King Arthur descubes them, they get very crispy on the edges, almost they way you would excpect them to if there was corn starch in them, but the centers stay very soft. And, they don’t get stale. At least, I made them 3 days ago and the are still sitting on my counter on a plate without having been wrapped and they are still soft in the middle. 

This is no small miracle friends. 

So without further ado, here is a painfully simple recipe, for very strange, but very delicious cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process 
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Fleur de Sel- a couple tsp for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 350F

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl

Spoon 1 tbsp sized blobs on to a piece of parchment or silpat. Sprinkle some fleur de sel on top.

Bake for about 7-9 minutes, until the top is set but still a bit soft if you touch them. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the pan, and then transfer them to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Gluten Free and Better For it!

Gluten free has a bad name. And maybe rightly. There are so many terrible wheat free alternatives out there. Bread made with rice flour just isn’t good, I’m sorry celiacs it just isn’t. Foods that shouldn’t be gluten free but try almost always fall flat. However, there are lots of traditional french baked goods that aren’t supposed to have wheat, that use things like ground almonds that are amazing. They don’t try to be something that they aren’t, and they’re better for it. Such is the case for this sensational flourless chocolate hazelnut cake.

I have long debated putting this recipe up here because it isn’t my recipe, it is an extremely talented woman named Mary McIntyre who owns a wonderful cafe called Little Nest. But then I realized that she in fact has already published it in a a book which makes me feel that it’s okay.

I have made a couple changes, I use hazelnuts instead of almonds, and I use more vanilla extract. But this is a a very forgiving recipe, it’s super dark and intense without being fudgy, it’s still light somehow, its just generally wonderful. Seriously, make this cake.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

6 eggs, seperated

2 cups Brown Sugar

225g Butter

225g Good Dark Chocolate

1/2 cup Cocoa Powder

1/2 cup Hot Water

1 1/2 cup Ground Hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350F

Line an eight inch round spring form pan with parchment paper

Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler.

Add in the egg yolks.

Add in one cup of sugar, the ground hazelnuts, and cocoa powder.

Add sugar and hazelnuts.

In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment whip egg whites until soft peaks form. With the mixer still on slowly add in the brown sugar until it’s shiny and stiff peaks form.

Scoop one third of meringue into chocolate batter and fold in.

Add in the rest of the meringue and fold until barely combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan,

Cook until an inserted skewer comes out with only a couple moist crumbs about an hour.

Allow to cool in the pan. It will sink, do not panic!

Turn it upside down and your in business!