There are times when I feel like an ostrich.
It’s like I have my head buried so deeply in all the minutia of daily life that when I stick my head out into the world I’m shocked (and often appalled) and what’s going on.
I’ll be honest. When I do stick my head out mostly I just want to curl back into my little life with a blankie and a warm cup of tea.
With all the uncertainy around us, it is nice to have some things that remain simple and pure, regardless if you’re 7 or 37.
And that’s Nutella.
No matter what, that thick layer of Nutella that I slather onto a piece of bread always tastes the same and always brings back that pleasant feeling of chocolate and sugar and hazelnuts and fresh bread.
And for all those that mock Nutella’s claims of being a healthy snack I’m sending a big dose of “shush” your way.
Nutella makes people happy. Happy is healthy.
So in honour of World Nutella Day, if you don’t mind, I’m going to curl up here in my little corner of the world with some Nutella Meringues to be followed by a piece of bread slathered in Nutella to be further followed by spoonfuls of Nutella straight from the jar.
I said shush.
Yields 15 to 20 meringues (depends on how big you make them)
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
a pinch of cream of tartar
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon, granulated sugar
1/4 cup Nutella
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Make sure you have one oven rack in the bottom third of your oven and one in the upper third of your oven.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Set up a double boiler (a pot with another pot on top or a heat-proof bowl on top) and put the Nutella in the top of the double boiler. Warm the Nutella through and then set aside while you make the meringue. (You could warm the Nutella in a microwave but I don’t own one so you’re on your own if you do use one.) Let the Nutella cool as you make the meringue.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites. Beat on medium-high speed until they are completely foamy.
Add the cream of tartar and the salt and continue whipping at medium-high speed until when you lift the whisk attachment, soft peaks form. This should take a few minutes.
Once you have reached the soft peak stage, increase the speed to high and begin adding the sugar a few spoonfuls at a time (this should take a few minutes).
Once all the sugar is in, the meringue should be very thick (almost stiff) and when you left the whisk firm peaks should remain.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and drop in all the Nutella. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the Nutella into the meringue three or four times. You’re aiming for a swirled effect so don’t overmix. This will also help avoid deflating the meringue.
Using two spoons, drop the meringue onto the parchment-lined baking sheets in large dollops.
Place in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, immediately lower the heat to 200 degrees F. and rotate the trays. Bake for an hour.
After an hour, check the meringues. If they are completely dried out then turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven for a few hours to cool with the oven. If the meringues still look a bit “wet”, then continue baking for another 20 minutes or so. Either way, once fully baked, turn off the oven and leave the meringues in there for a few hours.
When you remove the meringues from the oven they should be completely dry and cool and will sound hollow when you tap the bottoms.
The meringues will keep in an airtight container for a week.