This is the most epic dessert you will ever create in 10 minutes! A chocolate muffin filled with icecream and topped with meringue, it tastes great and will impress your guests with minimum fuss.
You can make this recipe for any number of people. You can buy the muffins at the shop or make them yourself. You can swap the flavours and the details (e.g. use gluten free muffins, or blueberry muffins with coconut icecream, or use some preserved fruit instead of jam). I usually use plain vanilla icecream with double chocolate muffins and orange marmalade - but if your creative genius leads you to try it with polenta and creamed corn muffins, chipotle relish and tomato sorbet, go right ahead.
You can prepare a large number of muffins weeks before you need them, or prepare extras just in case you aren't sure how many guests are coming. As long as you have wrapped the muffins up well, you can freeze them for a few weeks. It's also relatively easy to prepare this dessert to cater to varied tastes and dietary restrictions at the same dinner party, just make sure you mark which muffin is which before you freeze them.
The prep work will take about 5-10 minutes the day before, and 5-10 minutes right before you want to serve the dessert.
Remember that when you beat egg whites, you must have the bowl and the beaters completely clean and dry before you add the whites, as any water or oil will prevent them from stiffening.
It is important to get really big muffins for this dessert to work. Partly because you need a muffin big enough to make a hole in for the icecream, and you want a decent amount of icecream; and partly because the frozen mass of muffin is going to help stop the icecream from melting too quickly. You also need to have your oven or grill turned up as high as it will go for this recipe: the aim is not to cook the egg whites, but to lightly toast the outside really fast. The inside of the meringue will still be squishy, and probably cold.
- One large (1 cup or Texas size) double chocolate muffin per person
- One spoonful of marmalade or your preferred jam per person
- One scoop of icecream per person, flavour of your choice but it should go nicely with the chocolate muffin and the jam
- 1 egg white per 2 muffins, round up for odd numbers
- 1 heaped spoonful of sugar per egg white (I don't care what size spoon you use. Or what kind of sugar, for that matter.)
The day before...
- Use a small sharp knife to slice and scoop out a nice hole from the top of each muffin.
- Eat the removed muffin bits.
- In the bottom of each hole put a spoonful of marmalade or your preferred jam.
- On top of the jam put a scoop of icecream and push it down to fill up the hole. If you push too hard and the muffin starts to disintegrate, just use clingwrap to hold it together until it's frozen, it'll be right mate. Or, you know, eat the muffin to hide the evidence.
- Wrap the muffins in cling wrap.
- Place the filled muffins in the freezer for at least an hour, overnight is better.
On the day...
- Preheat your grill to high, or turn your oven up to 230C, or refill the butane on your mini blowtorch.
- Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.
- Slowly add the sugar and beat until dissolved. The egg whites should now be shiny, but not grainy.
- Remove the muffins from the freezer and unwrap them.
- Arrange the muffins on a tray (if they are going in the oven/grill).
- Divide the egg whites between the muffins. You can blob it on with a spoon. You could pipe it on with a large piping bag but that's just way too much effort, I told you this is an easy dessert.
- Place the muffins in the oven/under the grill for a couple of minutes - DO NOT WANDER OFF! KEEP YOUR BEADY EYES ON THEM AT ALL TIMES! The minute the egg white is lightly browned on top, take them straight back out!
- If using a mini blowtorch, light it and go nuts on the outside of the egg whites, gently toasting them to a light brown
- Serve and eat immediately!