Elanor's Serendipitous Mallowy Meringue Cake
by Iella, GilArda, Susu
Elanor Gamgee loved the sweets she tasted in Laketown which her family passed through as they traveled to Gondor, where she was to be accepted as one of Queen Arwen's honorary Ladies-in-Waiting.
But back home at the shire was Faramir Took, who pined for the lovely daughter of Samwise Gamgee and Rosie Cottin. Elanor knew this, and secretly felt bad for leaving him behind, but she could not dishonor the offer made by the Queen. She could not shame her father by rejecting it, and so she went.
She knew Faramir would love these treats, and begged the confectionery guild masters to let her have the recipe? Normally, they would have flatly refused, but as she was the "grandniece" of "Mr. Bilbo," they bent the rules and made an exception. They told her they could not write it down or teach the technique to her, but she could watch as they made it.
She recited what she saw measured, over and over, so she would remember it, even into the night as the rest of the travelers slept. But in the morning, she was muddled by sleepiness and odd dreams, combined with a tummy ache from over-imbibing in the mallow treats, and she forgot much of it!
Pride kept her from begging the recipe from the mallow makers again. Still, Elanor was a determined girl and in her spare time at the Queen's palace, she tried to recreate the recipe, but it got worse and worse, and her end results were nothing like the original!
But having wasted all the costly ingredients, she felt compelled to serve it to her mistress to ask her opinion and was surprised that Arwen declared it delicious! Thus was born Elanor's version of a simple confection more sophisticated than the original. It was completely different and born of pride and love for her father, the hobbits and Faramir Took. (We hope he appreciated it!)
Using and electric mixer or standmixer, beat together the egg whites, sugar, essence, vinegar, cornstarch and boiling water at high speed until the mixture is thick and glossy; this will take 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully spoon onto the baking tray inside the marked circle and mound and mould the mixture into a cake shape. Make a divot in the centre of the cake, so the edges rise up a bit higher than the center.
Bake for 10 minutes then reduce to 225°F / 100°C for 45 minutes. After that, turn off the oven and leave the cake in oven for at least 1 hour, with the door cracked open a bit. Remove the meringue cake and allow it to cool completely before topping with whipped cream and fresh fruit sliced thinly. Dust lightly with powdered sugar if desired.
To serve, cut into wedges with a serrated knife, or simple let guests spoon up their portions. Serves 8 to 12.
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