I was delighted to come across a recipe for Portuguese suspiros (sighs) recently which are treated as a national treasure in Lisbon where I first tasted these delightful crunchy bites.
These small meringues are super on their own but if you really want to be naughty serve them with added freshly whipped cream, crunchy nuts and watermelon or fig preserve. Also wickedly delicious is Madeira cream, made up by whipping 250ml cream with about 30ml of the famous Portuguese Madeira sweet wine. Use this as a "dipping" sauce for the suspiros.
As is always the case with classic favourites like this, variations are also made and enjoyed in copious numbers in Spain and South America and the recipes vary slightly but below is one of the easiest versions of making enough for four dessert portions.
3 egg whites
1.5 cups of sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Optional extras for serving could include nuts, chocolate powder, fresh cream (even flavoured cream) and ice cream
Beat egg whites and vanilla extract until the whites stiffen and form tiny peaks.
Slowly add the sugar and continue to beat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is not grainy
Spoon little dollops of the mixture on to baking paper and place in an oven pre-heated to 120 degrees Celsius.
Bake slowly until meringues are crisp and baked through.
Set aside and let them cool before serving.
Serve with nuts, cream and/or grated chocolate.