April 14, 2015

Vacherin




I am bored with recipes that are redundant but I can't avoid having to make the same thing over and over again. The chances of me getting to whip up something new is rare. On those rare occasions, I go all out to create a perfect treat.

One time, the executive chef asked if I knew how to make vacherin. The name rang a bell. He handed me a recipe and showed me a picture of the dessert on his laptop.  No clue.  My French culinary knowledge gave me the idea what it was when I skimmed through the recipe. He asked if I could give it a go. Why not? It seems a fairly easy dessert. He informed me it was for the owner of the resort. He was arriving and he wanted to have it for dessert.  I'd better make it good.

Vacherin
(Source: Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1  1/2 cups sugar ( I reduced it to 1 1/4)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy  cream ( I used whipping cream)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 4 cups frozen mixed berries, thawed
NOTE ;Frozen mixed berries needed time to thaw and drain so I placed them in a big sieve before I started with the rest. The berries dried out by the time I assembled the dessert.



Methods:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F/ 90 C. Draw a 9 inch circle on  baking paper. Turn over and line the baking sheet with it. (My oven is big. It can fit a large baking sheet so I drew 2 circles and baked two meringues on one baking sheet)

2. In a bowl of electric mixer, beat egg whites on high until frothy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed and while running, gradually add sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure the mixture is properly mixed. Increase the speed and continue beating until meringue is smooth and  glossy and the sugar is completely dissolved. Add a teaspoon of  vanilla.

3. Place the meringue in a piping bag fitted with a 12 mm round piping nozzle.  Pipe the meringue to fill in the circle on the baking paper.

4. Bake for 2 - 2 1/2  hours, rotate the baking sheet halfway through baking. Turn the oven off and let cool in oven completely.

5. Beat cream with icing sugar and the remaining teaspoon of vanilla until stiff peaks form.

6. Place meringue in a platter.



7. Place the whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a 20 mm piping nozzle. Pipe half of the whipped cream on top.


8. Sprinkle the berries.


9.  Repeat the process until everything is used up. Meringue on the base,then the cream and the mixed berries on top. Serve and enjoy.


I had one slice. I was mesmerized and so was the owner and all the other staff who tried it.The soft whipped cream complemented the nice and crisp meringue. The tart berries balanced out the sweetness. Simply divine.

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