Snow eggs “oeufs a la neige”

For the January daring cooks challenge we got to make snow 🙂

Being an expat in the UAE, I dearly miss winter! It is now mid January and the temperatures during the day are still in the late 20s C! I am told this is as cold as it is going to get! and as enchanting as the phrase “eternal summer” may be, actually living through it eventually gets to you. Especially if you are someone who loves the rain and enjoys going for a trip through the seasons even if it happens in the space of one month.

So when this month’s challenge was announced with the promise “oeufs a la neige will ensure that you have a bit of snow wherever you are in the world” I was more than excited to give it a go.

oeuf a la neige

Oeufs a la neige if you are not familiar with it is, a French dessert made out of poached meringue served over a bed of creme anglaise, topped with praline. The dessert is a tempting combination of textures: cloud like airy meringue,velvety smooth creme anglaise beautifully contrasted by the crunchy praline.

I personally found this dessert too sweet, so I decided to contrast and balance the sweetness by adding fruit. I used kiwi: splash of color,some tartness to balance out the sweetness and a new texture note to add to the melody that is oeuf a la neige.My daughter loved it!

oeufs a la neige

That being said, I would probably reduce the sugar in the creme anglaise drastically next time and I will bake my meringue.I simply can’t resist the crunch of baked meringue. Poached meringue despite fluffy and light (almost like biting into a cloud) failed to win me over 🙂

snow eggs "oeufs a la neige" dessert

Oeufs a la neige “snow eggs”

Blog checking lines:The January Daring Cooks Challenge will ensure that no matter where in the world you are, you will have a bit of snow! Kim from Ask a Foodie challenged us to make Ouefs à la Neige, or “Eggs in Snow”

Meringue

Servings:  Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

3 large egg whites (save the yolks for later)

pinch of salt

(75 gm) granulated sugar

1 and 1/4 cup whole milk

Directions:

    1. Place the egg whites in the bowl for a stand mixer that is large enough to whip the egg whites in. Add a pinch of salt to the whites and begin to beat the whites on medium high speed until soft peaks occur. Once you have soft peaks, add the sugar gradually until it has all been added. At this point increase the speed to high and beat the whites until you are able to form stiff peaks. You should be able to hold the bowl of whites upside down without any spilling out.
      meringue
    2. While you are beating the whites bring the 1 and 1/4 cups whole milk to a boil, once at a boil reduce to a simmer.
    1. With two spoons, spoon into the simmering milk oval-shaped meringues, I found it was easier to smooth the spoonful of meringue and ease it off one spoon with the other, into the simmering milk. Poach the first side until the meringues puff up a bit (about a minute),  flip the meringue over and cook for another minute.(Don’t over cook the meringue or they will shrivel and shrink)
      poach meringue
      When they are done remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Reserving the milk for the crème anglaise.

Snow eggs dessert

Crème Anglaise

 Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

3 large egg yolks

(75 gm) granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste with added seeds)

1 and 1/4 cups milk

Directions:

    1. In a medium bowl mix the yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla together, until your mixture is a very light yellow color
      eggs
    2. Measure the milk   left behind from poaching the meringues and add to it until you get 1 and 1/4 cups. Place it in a pan and bring it to a simmer
    3. Add a very small amount of the warm milk mixture to your egg yolk mixture to temper it, whisk the egg yolk milk mixture vigorously so as not to scramble the yolks. Slowly add the remaining milk. Stir the mixture continuously until it coats the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil or the mixture will curdle.  
    4. Pour the mixture through a strainer to ensure there is no scrambled egg in your custard into a glass bowl. Stir the custard mixture occasionally to assist in cooling the custard before placing in the fridge.

Ouefs a la neige dessert

Praline recipe

I used my go to praline recipe, you can find it here 

To serve the snow eggs

Spoon the creme anglaise into a serving, gently place one or two, of three of the poached meringue on top of the custard, and decorate with your topping of choice, the nut praline, caramel string,fruits, chocolate (get creative)!


 
Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:

This is not a dessert to store too long in the fridge, this is best eaten on the day prepared. The Crème Anglaise you could certainly store and enjoy for several days but not past that. This is not a dessert to freeze.

snow eggs french dessert

Notes:  

You will be working with meringue in this recipe, it is important that you get very stiff peaks, you must be able to turn the bowl upside down and have no spillage.

As with previous challenges your cook top might be hot so be careful not to scorch your poaching liquid, the crème anglaise, or your nut praline.

I personally found this dessert too sweet, so I decided to contrast and balance the sweetness by adding fruit. I used kiwi: splash of color,some tartness to balance out the sweetness and a new texture note to add to the melody that is oeuf a la neige.My daughter loved it!

That being said, I would probably reduce the sugar in the creme anglaise drastically next time and I will bake my meringue.I simply can’t resist the crunch of baked meringue. Poached meringue despite fluffy and light (almost like biting into a cloud) failed to win me over 🙂

Additional Information: 

Here is Rachel Khoos version, which is where my praline recipe came from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6Qcurdgu5A&list=PL4FE6V8KEi1jHHUgQc6eoJcR5qHT8jDr0&index=13

 

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