2 egg whites (70g), at room temperature
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
55g (¼ cup) light muscovado or light soft brown sugar
3 tablespoons tamarind paste (I favour a lighter, less-concentrated one)
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1–2 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
150ml (generous ½ cup) double cream
1 teaspoon caster sugar
ground chilli, to dust (optional)
Whisk ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon into the meringue, then serve with softly whipped cream, nibbed pistachios and sliced figs.

Resolutely brown food, but with big, bold flavours. The meringues are a showcase for the sugar, so I would choose a good light muscovado that has a deep toffee intensity. The sauce is then thrillingly chilli-hot and mouth-twistingly sour from the tamarind. If that kind of thing is your jam, you must try this recipe.

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1.Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan.
2.In a stand mixer or with an electric whisk at medium speed, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
3.Whisk in the white sugar then brown sugar, adding a spoonful at a time.
4.Increase the speed and continue beating for 5–10 minutes, until the manilla-coloured mixture is stiff and shiny and you can’t feel any sugar crystals if you pinch a little between your fingers.
5.Dollop the meringue into four hillocks and use the back of the spoon to press and lift on the surface to tease out beautiful spikes.
6.Bake for 1½ hours, or until the meringues are firm enough to lift away from the paper easily. Leave to cool in the oven with the door ajar.
7.To make the tamarind and chilli sauce, combine the tamarind paste and sugar in a small pan with 3 tablespoons water.
8.Add chilli to taste – I like it hot so I keep the seeds in, but you can scale it back.
9.Cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes to make a dark and fiery sauce.
10.Whip the cream and sugar together to soft folds.
11.Serve the meringues with a dollop of whipped cream, a dusting of ground chilli, if desired, and a pool of tamarind chilli sauce.

Images and text from
A Whisper of Cardamom by
Eleanor Ford, photography
by Ola O. Smit. Murdoch
Books RRP $55.