Meringues and Double Crème

by Jenn on January 31, 2011

in Desserts,Gluten Free

Meringues and Double Crème

I have a new favorite food of Switzerland – meringues and double crème.  My discovery of this awesome naturally gluten free dessert is quite timely too, because I need some little pleasures to take joy in here, and the expat blues have set in after the holiday season.  Sometimes, living abroad is like being stuck, only able to watch your friends and family as if in a far-off novel and all you can do is observe, say you miss them, but never be able to really participate.  And it’s hard.

I know I whine a lot about being away from loved ones on this blog.  I’m sure you all are thinking “get over it already, you get to live in freaking Switzerland!”  And this is true, to a point.  But the fact of the matter is that being an expat is lonely.  You  have to miss weddings.  Babies being born.  Funerals.  Job promotions.  Needed hugs. Stupid fun times with your friends.  All of those life experiences suddenly are relegated to only video chats, emails, and facebook status updates.  Meanwhile, we put parts of our own lives on hold as well, unsure of whether our arrangement will be temporary or permanent.  Do we let ourselves “nest” and actually buy pretty things to put on the walls to breathe a little more life into our 50 m2 of sacred space, or does trying to turn our rather minimalist apartment into a “home” present a deeper psychological barrier that I am not yet ready to cross?

We are constantly trying to make a “new start” by coming up with”new traditions” to help us deal with the fact that the old ones are just not the same without those we care about nearby.  We went to a new country to spend Christmas in Venetian splendor and then walked around on top of the world.  We started new birthday traditions, and while we’ve been having a great time, one cannot ignore that each new tradition started is also an extension of the acknowledgement of the familiar realization that we have come to know well over the past year – that Atlantic ocean is more than a mere physical barrier that separates us from those we love.  Not being able to share in certain moments, whether they be abundant with joy or filled with anguish, takes its toll on everyone.

Maybe that’s why I treasure the few times that we have started to make new friends here, but have also met them with mixed feelings.  I love that we are starting to become a bit more social, actually hang out with Swiss people, and sometimes the conversation isn’t totally in English either ;)  It’s hard to balance that I might really be enjoying life here with the fact that I so terribly miss so many people back home.  I feel happy and sad and conflicted that I feel either of those things all at once, and it’s quite complicated to deal with.

Thank goodness this dessert is anything but complicated.  It does not struggle with living in one country while friends and family are an ocean away, literally.  All it cares about is that crunchy meringue goodness is met with rich thick cream, a synergistic blend of flavors and textures that causes you to wonder how such simplicity can become such art.   A couple weeks ago, I was with some coworkers at a fondue restaurant in the canton of Fribourg here en Suisse.  I had the opportunity to enjoy a different variation of fondue from what we typically would order here in Vaud – no mixture of cheeses, all vacherin fribourgeois.  I also had the opportunity to try meringues and double crème.  I only tasted a few bites, but this sent me to gluten free heaven and back.

So many wonderful things in the world are naturally gluten free, but the Swiss might have captured the best of it with meringues and double crème. There are only two elements needed to make this dish:

Meringues Double Crème

In fact, I was so excited about this dessert I just had to make it for my husband after he returned from skiing that weekend.  And I had to show my mom on Skype the delicious concoction that instantly made her ask if I could make it for her.  And then, we sadly both realized that no matter how awesome it is that such technology exists for us to chat and catch-up, one just can’t send meringues & double crème over the internet.  Darn that Atlantic Ocean and its vast blue waters.  Sometimes I just wanna see my family on a whim on the weekends.

Meringues and Double Crème

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa January 31, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I’m glad you’ve discovered that speciality and that it helps you feel a little better! I love adding a little Kirsch to mine (a Vaud family tradition)… ;-p

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 12:10 am

Thanks Rosa! ooh will have to look into the Kirsch idea :)

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Courtney February 1, 2011 at 12:09 am

Oh, Jenn. I can relate to this post on so many levels. While we’re not as far away from our families as you guys are, Eric and I still have similar feelings. We’re about 14 hours (driving) away from our closest family members and friends. It was so hard making new friends because I felt like I was replacing my old ones (though I really wasn’t). I wanted to feel happy and social but was afraid to leave my other memories behind. I think on some level, I almost didn’t want to feel happy or make new friends because I felt like I might be betraying the ones I left behind. I hope you continue meeting new people and enjoying new experiences. Thanks so much for sharing this. Big (across the Internet and ocean) hug to you!

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 12:21 am

Thanks Courtney! Sending a big hug back!

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Winnie February 1, 2011 at 12:23 am

This is a really lovely post, Jenn. Don’t know that I’ll be able to experience the elements of this dessert, but it certainly sounds fantastic :) ps the last photo is extremely beautiful, too!

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 12:26 am

Thank you Winnie!

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats February 1, 2011 at 12:28 am

Jenn – I can so relate. I wish I could see my parents on a whim for a weekend as well. In fact, I am plotting a visit to Switzerland for the Spring, and will definitely let you know once I have my dates in order so we can meet up. But yes, being an expat is hard – I became one before skype and facebook, which means that I did not have constant reminders of what I was missing, you know? That said, skype is truly wonderful, even if it can make one sad (it does for me – I love it yet it is such a reminder of how far away my family is).

In the meantime, enjoy the scrumptious dessert. I have not had in years (and never will on account of all my food intolerances) but it is truly wonderful :)

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 12:32 am

Thanks Valerie – and yes, we should definitely meet up! I agree, the internet is a great way to know exactly what you are missing out on :( I will have some meringues and double crème for you!

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats February 1, 2011 at 12:37 am

The internet is definitely bittersweet that way.

Speaking of bittersweet – here is another nice twist on meringues: add vanilla ice cream and rich bittersweet chocolate sauce.

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 12:39 am

ooh that sounds exactly like something my husband would just love!

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the wicked noodle February 1, 2011 at 12:33 am

Oh, I need to get me some of that, asap!!

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 12:33 am

Thanks! It’s quite tasty :)

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Barbara | VinoLuciStyle February 1, 2011 at 1:15 am

Throughout the post I thought you had just discovered meringues…which are certainly worthy of discovery but this is even easier. Well, cause they are so easy…but have never, ever considered having them with Double Creme. Decadent yet simple. Which equals perfect.

Wish could give you a ‘for reals’ hug…but here is one in spirit. xoxo

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 1:19 am

ha yes, this is incredibly easier! and thanks so much for the hugs!! :)

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GFree_Miel February 1, 2011 at 2:33 am

Jenn, I think you’re so brave for moving so far away from your loved ones. I don’t think I could do the same. The meringues look amazing as usual!

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 7:52 am

Thanks Miel!

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Sara @CaffeIna February 1, 2011 at 2:44 am

I totally know what you mean by expat blues…and with the watching our friends life in videos only! I need to try these meringue and double creme in one of my moment of weakness :)

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 7:54 am

Thanks, I hope you enjoy :)

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Dinners & Dreams February 1, 2011 at 2:51 am

Double creme sounds super rich and delicious. The life of an expat can definitely have its hardships at times.

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 7:55 am

Oh it is, and worth every bite of its 45% fat goodness!

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InTolerantChef February 1, 2011 at 4:19 am

I know it’s hard. We moved every couple of years with the army, and you don’t want to start loveing anywhere in case it’s not permanent. I only met my grandad twice, and none of my cousins and it leaves a hole where family should be. Make the most of your time away though and keep embracing the new experiences. One day you’ll be back with them all, with the exotic glamour and foreign accent that will drive them wild with jealousy!

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 7:56 am

Wow, I can’t imagine how difficult that was. We are only in one place and it’s only been a year! Funny that you mention the accent thing, a few of my friends have already told me my accent is changing…

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Kim-Liv Life February 1, 2011 at 4:50 am

I have only been away from home for 3 years and it was only across the US, but we might just as well have had an ocean in between for the distance it felt like. It’s tough. But I look back on the years and the growth that I did while I was away and I appreciate my surroundings even more.
These little meringues though… wow!! My daughter would go nuts for these!! Love it!

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 7:58 am

Three years is a long time! Here I am whining and it’s only been one! I agree on the other side of a continent might as well also be an ocean…

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Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie February 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Hey Jenn!

That must be hard — trying to get comfortable in another country and making new friends, all the while missing your family and loved ones back home. Thanks goodness for Skype and Facebook, though! Can you imagine going back and forth writing with pen and paper?! :-p Oh. Writing the old fashioned way is still fun, though.

Wow, I’ve gone on a tangent. Those meringues with double creme look superb, though. Simple as they seem to make, they still look totally divine!

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 7:04 pm

ha tangents are ok! Yeah I definitely would not have fared so well with actual pen & paper as my only communication…

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Julie February 2, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Your mommy loves you!

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Jenn February 2, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Awww I love you too Mom!!

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Jenn, what a lovely post – I *totally* get how you are feeling – when I lived in Paris, I would phone my parents and complain about various things (no money, French bureaucracy, no friends etc..) when I first moved there and they were sympathetic but I am sure they were thinking “Um, you’re in Paris, get over it!”. Hugs xox
Oh and meringues and double crème? Yes please. Gorgeously gluten free!

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Jenn February 3, 2011 at 12:05 am

Thanks Mardi! Yeah I’m realizing that this is a rather common set of feelings to have when living in a foreign country…

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Sarah February 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I just discovered your blog and can totally relate to your feelings as an expat. I moved to Switzerland myself (near Lausanne) six months ago from the east coast, so I completely know what you mean about the Atlantic being more than just a physical barrier. I also miss my family and friends immensely, and have internal struggles about decorating our place, buying a dog here, etc, vs “waiting” for our eventual move back to the US…but there is certainly a lot of things to do and experience here, and, thanks to your post, I now know that I must either make these lovely meringues and double cremes myself or perhaps plan a trip into Fribourg or Gruyeres region to try these.

Thanks for posting this, I am enjoying reading your lovely blog :)

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Jenn February 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Thanks, I’m glad I’m not alone in my experience! and yes, you def. need to go to Gruyères, it’s so close and some great fondue & cheese, and pretty hikes (when it warms up a bit!)

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