The perfect dessert for a New Year celebration, these ‘snow eggs’ are balls of fluffy meringue suspended in delicious crème anglaise and topped with a caramel cage for a bit of sweet crunch. Serve in cocktail glasses to reflect the party mood.
Hands-on time: 50 minutes
Baking time: 10 minutes
Skill level: Needs skill
For the crème anglaise:
200ml whole milk
100ml double cream
¼ tsp vanilla paste
3 large eggs yolks
40g caster sugar
For the meringue:
3 large egg whites
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
75g caster sugar
¼ tsp vanilla paste
For the caramel cage:
250g caster sugar
60g glucose syrup
You will need:
6-cup 7cm semi-sphere silicone mould, lightly oiled
Large disposable piping bag
Cocktail glasses, to serve
Step 1 – For the crème anglaise, pour the milk and cream into a small pan over a low heat. Add the vanilla paste and bring slowly to a simmer.
Step 2 – In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together until pale. Pour the mixture over the warm milk, whisking continuously, then pour into a clean, heavy-based pan and cook over a very low heat.
Step 3 – Simmer the mixture gently for 3–4 minutes, stirring continuously, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, cover the surface with clingfilm to prevent a skin forming, then leave to cool.
Step 4 – For the meringue. Heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/Gas 2. In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar and 25g of the caster sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase the speed to high and add the remaining 50g sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously to a soft glossy meringue. Whisk in the vanilla paste.
Step 5 – Spoon the meringue into the piping bag and snip the bag 2cm from the pointed end. Pipe the meringue into the moulds and level with a palette knife.
Step 6 – Place the mould on a rack set in a roasting tin. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting tin to come just over the level of the rack. Do not let the water touch the silicon mould. Transfer to the oven and bake for 9–10 minutes, until set.
Step 7 – Remove the mould from the oven and immediately turn out the meringues out onto the silicone sheet. Leave to cool.
Step 8 – For the caramel cage, turn the silicone mould upside down on a large sheet of greaseproof paper, so the domes are facing upwards. Lightly grease the domes with oil.
Step 9 – Melt the sugar and glucose in a pan over a high heat and cook to a dark, golden caramel. Remove from the heat and plunge the base of the pan into a bowl of iced water to cool the caramel slightly.
Step 10 – Using the back of a fork, flick the caramel backwards and forwards over the silicone domes to form 6 cages. Leave to cool, then turn upside down and peel the silicon mould away from the caramel cages.
Step 11 – Pour the crème anglaise into the cocktail glasses and float a meringue in each glass. Place the sugar cages in the glasses over the meringue. Serve immediately.