- 3 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Pinch salt (optional)
Sweet Chestnut Purée Ingredients:
- 2 cans of 435 g of chestnut purée
- 1 cup of water
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 2 vanilla ponds
Soft Croquant Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups of pecans plus additional 1/2 cup for assembling trifle
- 3 cups of brown sugar
- 3/4 cup of water
- Parchment paper
Whipping cream plus 1 tbsp of sugar for arrangement
1. Pre-heat your oven to 215 F (100 C) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Begin whisking the egg whites with the whisk attachment on medium low. Place the egg whites in the mixer bowl and begin whisking. Be sure that the mixing bowl and whisk are free from grease and that the egg whites do not have any bits of egg yolks in them.
3. Add in the cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt, if using.
4. Increase speed to medium and start adding sugar. After the whites begin to foam, increase the mixer to medium speed and gradually start adding in the sugar. Whisking the eggs whites allows for air to be incorporated. Little air bubbles will start to form and the egg whites will foam. Once they begin to foam, begin adding in the sugar, a little bit at a time.
5. Watch for the “soft plop” stage. The foam and air bubbles will start to tighten and the whites will become opaque. The “soft plop” stage describes eggs whites that hold onto the whisk but do not form peaks.
6. Add the remaining sugar as the whites turn into “soft peaks.” Continue adding in the sugar until the whites begin to form soft peaks. Here, the whites will begin to hold their shape, but will eventually slump over and melt back into the bowl.
7. Increase the speed to medium-high. After the whites begin to hold their shape, bump up the mixer to medium-high until they hold firm peaks.
8. Watch for the “firm peaks” stage. Firm peaks are achieved when whites hold their shape. If you pull the whisk straight out of the bowl, a peak will form. At this stage, the tip of the peak will fold back over onto itself.
9. Watch for the “stiff peaks” stage. The stiff peaks stage is what we are trying to achieve. At this point, the peaks should stand up nice and straight. The whites will be glossy and smooth. If you rub a bit between your fingertips, it should feel silky (meaning the sugar has completely dissolved.)
10. Fill the piping bag with meringue. Fit a piping bag with a plain or star tip.
11. Pipe out the meringue. Gently squeeze the piping bag to push out any air pockets before getting started. Pipe meringue kisses on to the baking sheet.
12. Bake for 60 to 90 minutes. Depending on the size of your meringue, bake for about 60 minutes, or until the outside is crisp and the inside is dry yet chewy. They should feel light and hollow. When done, the meringue should easily peel off the parchment paper. Turn the oven off, crack the door open, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven.
Sweet chestnut purée:
1. Half and scrape the vanilla pods. In a medium-sized pot bring together the chestnut puree, water, sugar and the vanilla pods and seeds.
2. Give the mixture a gentle stir to combine and let it sit on medium heat till this comes to a high simmer. Once you see bubbles rapidly coming to the top of the puree bring it down to a low simmer and let it cook for 15-2 0min.
3. Occasionally stir the chestnut puree so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
4. Remove it from the heat, remove the vanilla pods and allow it cool before bringing te trifle together. I covered the purée as placed it the fridge as well to speed up the cooling process.
For the soft Croquant:
1. Put the brown sugar and water in a pot and allow it to come to a boil. Went it down bring it down to a simmer for 10-12 minute.
2. Break up your pecans and them toss them into the caramel.
3. Spread the soft Croquant onto parchment and let it cool. I put the tray in the fridge so it would cool quicker. The Croquant is runny, if you prefer a harder Croquant which you can break into pieces, use a candy thermometer to allow the sugar to reach the proper tempurature.
Once all the other ingredients have cooled, You start on your whipped cream. Whip the whipping cream with a tbsp of sugar till you get soft peaks.
When everything is ready, start arranging your meringue, chestnut purée, soft Croquant and whipping cream. When your arrangement is ready sprinkle the remaining pecans on top.
Serve and enjoy