canonigo and mango: heavenly!
I have never heard or eaten this dessert called Canonigo, the Filipino version of the French dessert ile flottante or oeufs à la neige, and have no clue where in the Philippines the dessert originated. The Spanish word canonigo means parish priest and so I am guessing the dessert as the name implies is a recipe from a priest (not improbable, Father Leo comes to mind), the cook in a priest's household, or a Filipino family whose name is Canonigo. If anybody knows, please enlighten me, I'll appreciate it.:-)
The Filipino Canonigo is cooked just like leche flan. The meringue is spooned into a bowl coated with caramelized sugar and baked in a bain marie. The baked meringue is then inverted on a platter with the caramel on top, then sliced into portions and served "floating" on custard sauce. The guidebook suggests to serve this delicious light-as-feather and melt-in-your mouth dessert with balls of ripe mango. Heavenly is the only word to describe it.
1½ cups sugar
8 egg whites
8 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or finely grated key lime rind)
ripe fresh mango balls for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt 1 cup sugar in a skillet until golden brown. *Pour caramel into a 12-inch stainless steel bowl, swirl to coat the bowl completely. Set aside.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining half cup of sugar and beat continuously until stiff but not dry. Pour into the prepared bowl.
- Bake in a bain marie for 30 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and from bain marie and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
- Invert the meringue onto a serving platter, letting the caramelized syrup coat the meringue. Let cool before slicing.
- Prepare the custard sauce: Beat the egg yolk slightly. In a double boiler, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and milk, and with a heat-proof spatula, cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- To serve: spoon some warm custard sauce on a plate, put a slice of meringue in the middle, garnish with mango balls.
*I baked the canonigo in stainless steel pinch bowls for assembling ingredients. It is not recommended because it is very difficult to coat with caramelized sugar which slides down, stays at the bottom of the bowls, and instantly hardens. Likewise, I don't recommend using a large bowl either. Baking the meringue in a loaf pan is I think more practical and uncomplicated for the home cook. Use just half a cup of sugar for caramel and coat only the bottom of the loaf pan.