Sweets from Serengeti House: How to make Italian Meringue
It would be accurate to say that, here at Singita, we're partial to the odd pastry or baked treat. That's probably why we serve a sweet spread every afternoon at tea time, and ensure that every menu is finished off with a selection of homemade desserts. Luckily, our guests seem to enjoy a bit of indulgence as much as we do!
At Singita Serengeti House, Executive Chef Frank Louw regularly whips up Italian Meringue, a key component in some of his most elegant creations. This method differs from Swiss or French meringue in that it is "cooked" by the addition of hot syrup, resulting in a firm, glossy texture that's ideal for frosting cakes. It can also be used to lighten ice creams, sorbets and mousses, for making cloud cookies and Baked Alaska, and to top filled pies, like this delectable lemon tart.
Recipe for Italian Meringue
Ingredients - what you will need: 2 egg whites 185g caster sugar 50g water
Method - what to do: 1. Place 150g of caster sugar and the water together in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. 2. Use a sugar thermometer to cook the syrup until it reaches 115°C. Brushing down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush with prevent sugar crystals from forming. 3. While the sugar is cooking, whisk the egg whites in an electric standing mixer with the remaining 35g caster sugar until it reaches soft peak stage. 4. When the sugar reaches 115°C, turn the mixer to a medium speed and pour the hot syrup very slowly down the side of the bowl into the egg whites, making sure not to let the syrup touch the whisk. 5. When all the syrup is incorporated, turn the mixer's speed to high, whipping the meringue until the mixture has cooled.
To top a lemon tart, spoon the mixture into a piping bag or directly onto the cooked pie filling for a more rustic effect. Use a blow torch to caramelise the meringue or place it into an oven pre-heated to 180°C for about 10 minutes, keeping a close eye on the topping to ensure it doesn't burn.
Singita Serengeti House, located on the slopes of Sasakwa Hill in the expansive 350,000 acre Grumeti Reserves, is an exclusive-use retreat. The property enjoys picturesque views of a watering hole from its perch and is designed to reflect a blend of European country décor and African artifacts, creating a comfortable and unpretentious style. Watch this short, one-minute film to see a snapshot of this unique property.