Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream...

Things are quietening down a little and that's actually a lovely thing. I don't really want to run around and I don't want to join the crowds in the mad pre Christmas rush. I'm waiting for snow. I know the chances are pretty slim that we will see some in London in time for Christmas, but I remain hopeful. I'm waiting for the quietness that comes with a layer of thick snow and for life to slow down for a couple of weeks. You know, just for a little while. 

Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream

Whilst I'm waiting for the snow though (and let's face it, I might be waiting for some time) and for some hopefully big things to kick off in the new year, I'm baking. Not that I actually need an excuse to bake. I set out to try something new but with old flavours. By old flavours I mean the ones that are so typical for this time of the year. Ginger, cinnamon, orange and cranberries. As somebody who doesn't like mince pies or christmas pudding, I'm always looking for new ways to use seasonal flavours and to 'make them my own'. I wanted to try and create something light, a little fun, elegant and suitable as small treats rather than a big and heavy slab of christmas cake. And what could be lighter than a meringue with a fruit filling? Now, the cranberry buttercream was a bit of a gamble because I wasn't sure how the acidity of the cranberries would react with the butter, but it turned out rather well. The sharpness of the cranberries offsets the sweetness of the meringues and there's a subtle hint of ginger - enough to detect it without being overpowering. The chocolate is partly for decoration but also adds to the overall taste associated with Christmas. Overall, I'd say they have turned out rather nicely. So, if all this sounds like something you'd like to make, then read my recipe below.

Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream

You will need the following ingredients which will give you around 40 "kisses":

For the meringues:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the cranberry buttercream:

  • 150g fresh cranberries
  • 80g caster sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • juice of half an orange
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 300g icing sugar

To decorate:

  • 40g good quality dark chocolate
Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream

And here's how it's done:

First the cranberries:

  • put the cranberries into a saucepan
  • add the sugar, ground cinnamon, orange zest and orange juice and bring to a boil
  • boil until the cranberries have popped and start to thicken
  • stir vigorously to break up the cranberries as much as possible
  • once the mix is jam - like, take off the heat and leave to cool

Next the meringue:

  • preheat your oven to 150C
  • grease a baking tray and cover with baking paper
  • mix together the sugar and ground ginger
  • separate the 4 eggs and whisk the egg whites with the salt until stiff peaks form
  • add half the sugar and keep whisking until the mixture is glossy
  • now add the other half of the sugar and whisk for about 5 minutes making sure the mix is glossy and smooth
  • transfer the mix into a piping bag with a large star-shaped nozzle and pipe out small dollops of around 2.5cm onto the baking sheet
  • put into the oven and bake for 1 hour

Now the buttercream:

  • after the cranberries are completely cooled, put them into your mixer and give them a good whisk
  • add the butter and whisk until combined
  • now add the icing sugar and whisk until smooth
  • put into the fridge to cool for 1 hour

To put it all together:

  • heat up some water in a small pan
  • break up the chocolate and put into a heatproof bowl that will fit onto the pan
  • melt the chocolate over the simmering water
  • line up the meringues and, using a teaspoon, "wave and drizzle" the melted chocolate over them
  • leave the meringues with the chocolate to dry
  • next, put a dollop of the cranberry buttercream onto a meringue and press a second meringue on top
  • serve with a lovely cup of tea or coffee
Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream
Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream
Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream
Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream
Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream
Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream
Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream
Ginger Meringue Kisses with Cranberry Buttercream

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Until next week see you on InstagramTwitter and Facebook… xo

PS: A big thank you to all the ladies at the phm office here in London who 'road tested' my meringues and gave them the 'thumbs up'!