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Marron Meringues

These French chestnut meringues will keep for up to 10 days if stored in an airtight container, but once assembled chill, and serve within 2-3 hours.

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75 g (3 oz) light soft brown sugar
75 g (3 oz) caster sugar
3 egg whites


265 g (8 oz) sweetened chestnut puree
1 tablespoon rum or coffee liqueur
150 ml ( pint) double cream


Makes: 12


1. Heat the oven to 110°C (225°F), Gas Mark ¼.

2. Cover two baking sheets with nonstick baking paper or greased greaseproof paper.

3. Sift the brown sugar and caster sugar together until evenly blended.

4. Put the egg whites into a clean grease-free bowl and whisk until very stiff and standing in peaks. Whisk in the sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is thoroughly incorporated and the meringue is stiff again, before adding more sugar. The last third of the sugar can be whisked in or folded in as preferred. Put the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe into 10 cm (4 inch) bars.

5. Bake in the oven for 2 hours, reversing the baking sheets in the oven after 1 hour. The meringues should then be set and peel easily off the paper; if not, cook for a further 15 minutes and try again. Leave to cool on the paper on a wire rack.

6. When they are cold, peel the meringues from the paper and store in an airtight container until required.

7. To assemble, combine the chestnut spread and rum or liqueur and beat until quite smooth. Whip the cream until stiff and fold through the chestnut mixture. Sandwich the meringues together with the chestnut cream. Chill until required.

Preparation time: about 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2-2 hours

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