Meringues with La Gruyère double cream
The dessert par excellence of the Bénichon meal, meringues and Gruyère double cream go perfectly together.
"It was at the time of Lausanne’s Expo 64 that Botterens meringues began to be very much in demand", explains Marie-José Christmas, daughter of the founder. "After this time, we made nothing but meringues. Production is mechanised today, but at the time, Dad beat the whites of egg by hand and used a piping bag to fill the meringues. But the process, whether by hand or machine, does not alter the taste; the important thing is the quality of the raw materials. In the beginning, meringues were made to use up the whites of egg left over when only the yolks were used in patisserie work."
Astonishingly, there are only two simple ingredients involved: whites of egg and sugar. But make no mistake, the making of meringues requires a skilful blend of subtlety and expertise. With only 50 grams of sugar to one white of egg, Botterens meringues are particularly light and airy, but also very fragile. "Many get broken, but that’s just how it is", states Marie-José Christmas.
With its pearly appearance and its crunchy centre, the meringue may be enjoyed on its own, topped with La Gruyère double cream or with fruit. According to taste, it also goes wonderfully well with a little ice cream or sorbet.