Meringues Chantilly

February 26th, 2009

Once again it is time for the Barefoot Bloggers to reproduce an Ina Garten recipe. Today’s recipe was chosen by MBK at Reservations not Required. Be sure to visit her amazing blog for lots of creative ideas. Meringues Chantilly remind me of a time in my life when we held formal dinner parties. We were young, we had just discovered Julia Child, and we were out to impress the boss or the department chair. Fancy food was de rigueur and the fancier the better. Oh how I struggled and exhausted myself trying to make the dining room table set for 8 with the fancy china and cut crystal look fabulous. The food was another story. I had many successes but also a few failures. I remember the time that I tackled individual Beef Wellingtons with homemade puff pastry crusts. After the first course was served, I checked on the beef to see if it was ready and the crusts had melted droopily over the beef. Thank goodness the house we lived in at the time had a formal dining room, separate from the kitchen, so no one could see this disaster. I scraped off the offending crust and quickly browned the beef in my new 14″ copper saute pan. I think I was the only one that knew what had really happened, even though I was sweating and not the most composed hostess. Another time I made Bananas Foster for dessert and when I poured in the brandy and put a match to it to flame it, one of our guests leapt from his chair, knocking it over, and ran into the kitchen to my rescue, not knowing that the conflagration was intentional.

Upon first glance Meringues Chantilly appear to be one of those pretentious desserts. Thank goodness we live in a more relaxed time. I no longer feel the need to impress. Dinner is all about being with people you enjoy. Meringues Chantilly is still a somewhat complicated dessert, but the steps can be performed over a period of time. My meringues did not come out as tall as I would have liked. Next time I will put more pressure on the pastry bag. But it was no problem leaving them in the oven overnight. The sauce was easy to make and the whipped cream was a snap. Serving was just a matter of assembly. We had good friends visiting and Ina’s dessert was fabulous. And I didn’t sweat the small stuff. Thanks MBK for suggesting this dessert. For the recipe go here.

6 responses to “Meringues Chantilly”

  1. Suzie says:

    Yours looks lovely. I really enjoyed this dessert, and I thought it was good enough to serve at one of those over the top dinner parties.

  2. I love anything Ina does and an enjoying your Barefoot Contessa posts. I too used to do the formal routine and I must confess I still do to a certain extent. When we lived in the islands I had to get rid of a lot of things that would not fit in our tiny house there, but I kept (and took there) the good china and the sterling silver. People were impressed because they thought they would be eating on corelle…..but not at our house, no way.
    Glad your chantilly turned out well. People may not remember what you served as the main course, but they always remember the dessert. I’m staying tuned for more Barefoot fun.

  3. BMK says:

    Beautiful! I’m glad you liked these. I can relate to your dinner party story. I like to mix up the formal with the casual and I love recipes like this that look stunning but aren’t that hard.

  4. It looks wonderful! I loved hearing the story about the beef wellington and the banana’s foster…I have had a few major boo boo’s in the kitchen – lol.

  5. I loved your beef wellington story. this is such a great recipe!

  6. Leslie says:

    What a beautiful dessert! I laughed about your dinner party story. It’s always best when the kitchen is removed from the dining room. One time, a cake cracked in half but I frosted it together. No one was the wiser.

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