Donal Skehan's... what to eat now
Recipes, restaurant recommendations and more hidden gems from Donal's little black book.
Mocha Meringues with Whiskey Cream & Chocolate Sauce
This batter makes a really chewy, marshmallow meringue, which goes perfectly with the whiskey cream and makes for the perfect finale to any Easter feast. And if you aren't a coffee fan, you can always drop the espresso powder from the recipe and replace it with more cocoa powder.
Makes 12 meringues
You will need:
250g icing sugar
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons of cornflour
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
10g of good quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder
60g of chopped toasted hazelnuts
For the dark chocolate sauce:
30g caster sugar
60ml of water
½ teaspoon of espresso powder
50g of good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
For the whiskey cream
375ml of cream
3 tablespoons of icing sugar
3 tablespoons of whiskey
Preheat the oven to 150˚C/Gas Mark 2. Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Place the icing sugar and egg whites in a standing food mixer and whisk on high for 10 minutes until glossy white peaks form. Using a spatula, gently fold in the cornflour and the white wine vinegar.
When this is mixed through, sift the cocoa powder and espresso powder over the meringue mix and gently fold in.
Using a tablespoon, place 3in/8cm spoonfuls of the meringue mix onto the baking tray and flatten each one gently in the centre with the back of a spoon. Bake for 45 minutes.
For the dark chocolate sauce
Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat and stir gently to dissolve the sugar. Add the espresso powder, whisk through and bring the mix to a steady simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to sit for 1-2 minutes, then add the chocolate and whisk through until combined. Sift in the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.
For the whiskey cream
Whisk the cream into soft peaks. Dissolve the icing sugar with the whiskey in a bowl and then add to the cream, folding to combine. To assemble the meringues, place one on each plate, add a spoonful of whiskey cream on top, drizzle with the chocolate sauce and sprinkle with the toasted hazelnuts.
Bean and goose
If you fancy yourself to be a bit of chocolate connoisseur, Bean & Goose Chocolate should be top of your list. Sisters Karen and Nathalie Keane create small batches of quality chocolate in their Wexford kitchen. Taking inspiration from their surroundings, they create unique flavour combinations using traditional processes and natural ingredients. Grate some over my Mocha Meringues for the ultimate, decadent dessert!
Buy: Available from selected stockists nationwide and Dublin's Temple Bar Food Market.
If you a need a new lunch spot in Dublin be sure to drop into Blas Cafe on King’s Inns Street. Nestled away in the very trendy Chocolate Factory, the cafe is oozing with charisma and an inviting Brooklyn-esque ambiance. The menu is a joy with food sourced from local vendors and artisan producers. With plenty of options, Wall & Keogh teas and Wild Flour Bakery treats, an afternoon will happily pass you by in this hidden gem!