Coffee and Banana Vacherin

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Until reading through Mary Berry’s Baking Bible I hadn’t heard of a vacherin but the upon reading this recipe I discovered it was a dessert consisting of crisp meringue discs stacked on top of each other. Having recently enjoyed a coffee flavoured pavlova at a friend’s party, this recipe immediately caught my eye.
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The ingredients are nothing luxurious but they certainly produce a decadant dessert.

Meringue

  • 4 Large egg whites
  • 225g light muscovado or brown sugar

Filling

  • 300ml cream
  • 1 level teaspoon of instant coffee granules
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Firstly pre-heat your oven to 140° and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and then add in the sugar a teaspoonful at a time until the mixture is very stiff.

If you feel inclined, spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe 2 x 20cm circles on the baking trays. Or several small cicrles to make individual vacherin if you prefer. Personally, I prefer to avoid a piping bag where possible so I simply spooned the meringue out onto the trays.

Bake the large meringue for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until they are crisp, dry and lightly coloured. The small meringue only need to be cooked for about 20 to 30 minutes. Just keep an eye on them an let them cool on the tray for 10 minutes.

While they cool, whip the cream and add in the coffee granules to flavour it.
When they are completely cold, layer the bottom meringue with whipped cream and top with the sliced bananas.
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Top with a second disc of meringue, dust with icing sugar and serve with joy. This recipe was fantastic – so easy, versatile and tasty. Also a very easy alternative to the pavlova and, to my mind, much tastier.
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