By Scott Sharot
When I want something light but sinful, simple but complete, it's angel kisses for dessert. This dish is easy, but only if you can buy the meringue shells already made. Luckily, you may special order them at Le French Corner with some advanced notice. I gave up trying to make meringues at this altitude and was very happy to discover I could buy them here. Be very careful transporting the meringues; they are very fragile, as the name implies. Essentially, they're egg whites with sugar and cream of tartar. They must be eaten before they absorb moisture from the air. For that reason, they should be stored tightly covered in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate them.
This recipe is flexible when it comes to ingredients. I choose a fruit that's ripe and juicy and pair it with a liqueur that goes well with the flavor of the fruit. I love to mix fresh mango and sliced strawberries with Grande Marnier. I also like combos of kiwi and Cointreau, raspberries and framboise or peaches and tequila (don't laugh, it's a really good match). Marinate (or macerate) the fruit with your choice of fruit liqueur. I buy the little nips of the more expensive booze; you can get a nip (small bottle) for less than three dollars. If you want to go all out, garnish them with chocolate leaves by painting lemon leaves with melted chocolate; freeze them, then pull the leaf away from the chocolate.
3 cups mixture of sliced fresh strawberries and mangoes
1 tablespoon extra fine sugar (or to taste)
3 ounces Grande Marnier
6 meringue shells
2 cups heavy cream, freshly whipped and sweetened
1 cup unsalted cashews, chopped and toasted
1 cup chocolate shavings
1) Marinate fruit with liqueur for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
2) Fold marinated fruit into sweetened whipped cream.
3) Fill meringue shells with fruit and cream mixture.
4) Garnish with chopped cashews and chocolate shavings.
Note: Do not fill meringues until you're ready to serve or they will get soggy.
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Taste for the Troops Cooking Class at New Mexico Veterans Memorial
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