The below recipe is extracted from Wild & Sweet by Rachel Lambert, published by Hoxton Mini Press on March 31
Dandelion Meringues and Cream
Serves 4 | Gluten-free
The lightness of meringues and whipped cream complements the gentle flavour of dandelion petals flawlessly in this decadent dessert. You’ll need to make the dandelion flower sugar a week or so in advance for the best results.
2 free-range egg whites
pinch of cornflour
150ml double cream
For the dandelion sugar
60 dandelion flowers, petals picked
80g golden caster sugar
Prepare the dandelion sugar ahead of time. Mix the dandelion petals with the sugar in a small bowl, cover and leave for a minimum of 3 days or up to 2 weeks to infuse. Make sure the petals don’t clump together too much, or tease them apart if they do.
Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/300°F and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
In a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites into soft peaks, whisk in the cornflour and then whisk in three-quarters of the dandelion sugar a spoonful at a time, until glossy and thick.
Take a teaspoon of mixture and use a second teaspoon to ease it onto the baking parchment, pulling the spoon upwards to bring the mixture into a peak. Continue, spacing out the dollops across the baking tray, until all the mixture is used and you have about 16 meringues.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave with the oven door shut overnight or until the oven has completely cooled.
Put the remaining sugar mixture in a seed grinder, clean coffee grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a fine texture.
Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. At this stage, you can either fold the powdered sugar mixture into the cream until well combined, or sprinkle on top when serving. To serve, divide the meringues between four plates and dollop the cream alongside. Alternatively, you can crush the meringues into the cream to make an Eton-mess-style dessert.
Any leftover meringues will keep well in an airtight container for a couple of weeks at room temperature or for 3 months in the freezer.