My daughter Alex is totally right: this blog is missing some desserts. The main reason for this deficiency is that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Even when I eat dark chocolate, my favorite sweet item along with donuts, I need to eat bread. Luckily, my mom was visiting for a few weeks (you will see more of her recipes in future posts), and my daughters enjoyed her legendary custard with meringue clouds. I love the delicate texture of the custard, how the clouds melt in your mouth and the crunch of the chocolate… Here is the recipe, so you can enjoy them too!
Ingredients (6 servings)
3 cups of milk
½ cup of heavy cream
2 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon rind
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 tbsp. chocolate sprinkles
STEP 1.- Separate egg yolks from whites: Crack the egg, transfer the yolk back and forth between the two halves, letting the white drop into a clean, dry, large bowl. Make sure there is absolutely no yolk mixed with the whites. You can also crack the eggs into a small bowl, scoop out the yolk with your hand and transfer the whites to a large bowl. In this case, make sure your hands are extremely clean, the oil in your skin is not a good addition to the meringue.
STEP 2.- Heat up the milk with the sugar, cream, cinnamon sticks and lemon rind (only yellow part, avoid the white as it is sour). You can add an open vanilla pod too (I don’t because I’m not particularly fond of vanilla). Do not let it boil.
STEP 3.- Set your mixer to high, add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whip them until they form stiff peaks. It will take a few minutes. When almost ready, add the powdered sugar.
STEP 4.- Scoop out portions of the whipped whites and cook them in the warm milk, turning them over so all the surface gets to be in contact with the milk. They won’t get hard, but they will keep their shape and absorb part of the flavor of the milk. Reserve.
STEP 5.- Filter the milk and warm up again. Remember, do not bring to a boil. Keep it over minimum heat and stir frequently.
STEP 6.- Whisk the yolks until well mixed and add very slowly, while constantly whisking, one cup of the warm milk to the bowl.
STEP 7.- Pour the yolks into the milk pot (that will be over minimum heat) in a slow stream, stirring constantly.
STEP 8 .- Whisk gently until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Do not allow to boil. You will know it is ready when the little bubbles disappear and the mixture starts moving like a whole when you shake the pot.
STEP 9.- Pour into ramekins, place a meringue clouds on top of each one and sprinkle with chocolate.
Temperature is essential: do not allow to boil! Yes, I know, I am repeating myself, but it is extremely important. Egg protein is very sensitive J
If you want the custard thicker, you can add a tsp. of cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsps. cold milk to the warm mix and stir over low heat for a few minutes.
Kids absolutely love this dessert and they can help to prepare it