Irresistible meringues with sweet Fairtrade coffee and pecan cream

"I’ve yet to serve these to anyone who hasn’t come back for seconds. I like to use unrefined sugar for meringues, as it gives a rounded, more mellow flavour. It takes a little bit more time to dissolve into the meringue, but it’s really worth it. You just need to be patient and whisk for a bit longer" Aggie Mackenzie

Preperation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 1½ hours, plus overnight
Serves 4

For the meringues

50g/1¾oz egg whites
100g/3½oz/½ cup Fairtrade golden caster (superfine) sugar

For the filling

300ml/10fl oz/1¼ cups double (heavy) cream
1 tbsp Camp coffee essence or 1 tsp Fairtrade coffee granules mixed with 1 tbsp cold water 1-2 tbsp Fairtrade soft light brown sugar
1 tbsp rum (optional)
25g/1oz pecans, chopped and toasted

Method

Preheat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/275ºF/gas mark 1. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment or a silicone sheet.

For the meringues, put the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. When ready, the mixture will stick to the bowl and you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without it falling out. Add the sugar, one heaped spoonful at a time, and whisk in, making sure each spoonful has dissolved before adding another.

Blob a tiny bit of meringue on each corner of each baking sheet and stick down the parchment. Now take 2 dessertspoons and spoon about eight even-sized blobs, spaced out, on the sheet. Bake in the oven for 1½ hours, until they peel away easily from the parchment. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in there to cool overnight.

For the filling, whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Slowly whisk in the coffee, sugar and rum (if using) until thick. Fold in the nuts, reserving a few for serving, then sandwich the meringues together with the cream. Put on to plates and sprinkle over the remaining chopped nuts.

This recipe has been created by Aggie Mackenzie for Fairtrade Fortnight. This year, The Fairtrade Foundation is calling on the British public to choose products on their shopping list that change lives. Take the quick personality test at www.fairtrade.org.uk/fortnight, say what matters most to you and see how Fairtrade is changing lives in those areas.

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