The obvious choice for Valentine's Day is chocolate.  Creamy, smooth and fluffy meringues served on warm Vanilla Bean Custard will be a welcome surprise to your sweetheart.

Meringues on Warm Vanilla Bean Custard
with Raspberries


2 egg yolks
1 cup of light cream
1/4 cup of sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 egg whites
1/2 cup of sugar
1 pinch of cream of tarter

1 pint of Berries for serving

To make vanilla cream, whisk together egg yolks, cream, 1/4 cup of sugar, seeds from one vanilla bean and vanilla extract.  Cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly until it thickens slightly.  Remove from heat and set aside.  

To make meringues, in the top bowl of a double boiler (glass bowl sitting on a sauce pan with simmering water), whisk together egg whites, sugar and cream of tarter.  Cook mixture in the double boiler over medium low heat for 3-5 minutes, or until sugar has dissolved.  If you rub the mixture between your fingers, you should be able to tell if the sugar has dissolved.

 
Transfer the mixture to your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk on high for 7-10 minutes.  The mixture will cool and froth into a thick meringue as it whips. 



Dollop a scoop of the mixture onto each dessert plate shaping them into hearts.  You may use a pastry bag to make the heart shapes more perfect.  Toast the meringues with a mini torch, or place them on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven under the broiler for 1-2 minutes.  Pour vanilla cream (still warm, or heated in the microwave) around clouds and top with berries.



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