I like to keep vanilla pods in my caster sugar jar. This gives the sugar a nice gentle vanilla flavour. The pods last for years so though it may feel like a lot of expense to begin with, I think that it is worth it.
I have kept the egg yolks in he freezer ready for mince pie and sausage roll brushing during the festive season. I try not to waste anything!
Here’s what you do:
Step 1 - Put the hazelnuts onto a baking tray and pop into a pre-heated oven (190 degrees) for 8 minutes. Allow the hazelnuts to cool.
Step 2 - Split the egg whites from the yolks, keeping the whites separate. The whites should then be whisked until they form stiff peaks.
Step 3 - Gradually add the caster sugar a little at a time. This will eventually create a thick and glossy mixture.
Step 4 - When the nuts have cooled chop them up into fine pieces and gently fold them into the meringue mix with a large metal spoon.
Step 5 - Prepare a 8” x 10.5” high sided baking tray by smearing a little oil on the bottom and then lining it with greaseproof paper. The paper and tin need to be high enough that the meringue can rise up and not spill over the edge. Spoon the meringue into the tray and level off. Place in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes.
Step 6 - Take the meringue out and leave to cool on a cooling wire. Once cooled turn the meringue out onto another sheet of greaseproof paper and gently peel the original piece away. This needs to be done carefully so that you don’t rip or shred the meringue.
Step 7 - Begin to melt the chocolate in a bain maries. Once the chocolate has melted it needs to be left to cool down.
Step 8 - Meanwhile whisk the cream to quite a thick consistency and then split into two bowls. Reserving 3 tablespoons of the chocolate, the rest should be mixed well with one of the bowls of cream.
Step 9 - The chocolate cream needs to be spread over the meringue, followed by the plain whipped cream. Then, taking your time you need to roll the meringue into a roulade (rolling from the short edge along the long edge). Use the greaseproof paper to help you roll the meringue.
Step 10 - Once rolled place the meringue on a serving plate and drizzle with the remaining chocolate. Place the meringue in the fridge and take it out 15 minutes before you wish to serve it.