Pastry preparation: Put the flour, icing sugar, butter (cut into pieces, at room temperature) and the vanilla seeds in a food processor and mix together. Add the egg yolks and mix until smooth. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper and leave to cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator, roll it out with a rolling pin and cut out oval shapes (or whatever shape you prefer) and put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Prick the pastry with a fork and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C. Remove from the oven when the pastry has just started to turn golden and leave to cool without removing them from the baking tray. Open the oven and reduce the temperature to 90°C. Cut the amarenas in half and drain off the syrup.
Meringue preparation: Again, I won’t bother saying much about the meringue because it’s truly a mystery to me how something with just 2 main ingredients can be so simple but yet so complicated at the same time. It’s either too crunchy or too soft inside, or it’s too dark or too floppy. To be honest, I reckon it’s just luck if your meringues turn outwell! Anyway, this is my recipe, or the one that works best for me. I had some egg whites left over which had been in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
Before I made the meringues I got them out of the refrigerator for a couple of hours, and then I put them in the food processor and beat them at maximum speed, adding the lemon and vanilla as I whisked them. When they were quite firm, I gradually added the sugar and kept on beating until they were shiny and firm (at least 20 – 30 minutes). The mixture is ready when it stays in the same place when you lift the whisk up. Put the meringue into a piping bag with a round nozzle and squeeze a bit onto the pastry oval. Put a Popsicle stick into the meringue.
Then, using the piping bag with the round nozzle again, squeeze meringue all over the pastry oval, and put the halved amarenas on top. Bake at 90°C for a couple of hours, keeping the oven slightly ajar with a fork so the humidity can escape, to ensure the meringues are dry inside. When the meringues are cooked, turn off the oven and leave them to cool inside. Grate the dark chocolate and add the cocoa butter before melting in the microwave (try to keep the temperature at around 45°C. Stir until smooth and add a bit more grated chocolate to reduce the temperature.
Put the melted chocolate in a narrow container and dip the meringue in until the chocolate touches the wooden Popsicle stick. Drain off the excess chocolate and leave to cool on a sheet of baking paper, either in the refrigerator or not. Then enjoy!!!
Recipe by Danita