Consider this my gift to you this Christmas.
This frozen meringue cake hardly even merits the title of recipe and yet it has become the chameleon-like stalwart of my repertoire. It is
easy child’s play to make. Everybody likes devours it. It can be made to feed any number of guests, young or old, transformed from cake to pudding simply by using a different container and flavours can be varied from season to season as the mood takes you.(You might remember the blackcurrant version, here.)
The only essentials are meringues and whipped cream. Beyond these two, the ingredients are open to creative interpretation. I might have added almonds but for an almond-allergic guest on my list. Walnuts would work. Marrons glacés would be delicious. Mixed citrus peel would be delightfully Sicilian.
I am luck enough to be the proud and fortunate mother of a Teenage Daughter who is happy to avoid studying for her exams by making meringues for me. TD always uses this recipe. Given the week that’s in it, feel free to use shop-bought meringues. They will be grand.
I usually find time to make my own cranberry sauce for Christmas and generally make too much (especially since we don’t have turkey) so this recipe puts it to good use.
Homemade cranberry sauce is the work of mere minutes (7, to be exact) and certain to put you in the holiday mood but, again, the to-do lists are lengthy at this time of year so shop-bought will be absolutely fine. I use this recipe.
Ingredients for Christmas Frozen Meringue Pudding:
10 meringues, broken into chunks
250mls fresh cream, whipped
50g hazelnuts, toasted in a dry pan and chopped
1/2 tin of dulce de leche (or caramel sauce)
1/2 jar of cranberry sauce.
To decorate: 100 g melted dark chocolate
To decorate to excess: several Cadbury’s Crunchie (honeycomb) bars and a drizzle of cranberry sauce.
To decorate tastefully: sorry, you’ll have to come up with that one yourself, I’m all out.
Line a Christmas pudding bowl, or a 20cm cake tin, or individual freezer-proof cups with cling-film.
Scatter the broken meringues into the whipped cream. Dollop the sauces on top. Sprinkle in the nuts. Mix all the ingredients together.
Press firmly (to eliminate air gaps) into the lined container and freeze overnight.
That is it! Could anything be easier?
Ah, but wait…
…now, my big pudding is safely tucked away in the freezer for Christmas Eve but I made a special itty-bitty pudding just for you. This is just to say thanks, for being out there, listening to me, praising, advising and encouraging me, and keeping me company.
Isn’t that just grand, turned out on to a sparkly plate and de-frocked of it’s cling film.
But wait…surely a lighted candle is called for on this, the second-shortest day of the year, when I want my blogland friends to know how much I appreciate them all, each and every one, and I’m certain a drizzle of dark chocolate could only make it better.
Wait, wait, wait…I have a great idea (famous last words at Christmas)…
…let’s raid the kids’ selection boxes and find a Cadbury’s Crunchie. Then, let’s take a rolling pin and, thinking of that %^&&*^$ who stole the world’s last parking space at the supermarket, smash that Crunchie to smithereens. Ah, yes, that felt good. Are you still there? Have ye all given me up as a mad raving looney?
Wait… last time, I promise,
…a drizzle of cranberry sauce just because I love the colour:
Being serious, these few days leading up to Christmas are always hectic but also somehow the best part. A few goodies like this one stowed away in the freezer can be a genuine mental bulwark against panic.
My best mental health advice, however, is to keep a rolling pin and a large stack of Cadbury’s Crunchies to hand throughout the season.
We are down to the final stretch my friends, the year turns tomorrow and we can raise our heads and face the finishing line. Let’s cheer each other over the line.