I have never eaten snake. I did do alligator once, near Disneyworld. No, it did not taste like chicken, unless you’ve had chicken that was rubbery, tasteless, and made you aware of every inch of your intestinal track. When alligator is featured at a 3-star Paris restaurant, I’ll try it again. If it’s just from a roadside diner in Florida, offering really fresh ‘gator, I’ll pass.
I will do snakes, though, if they come is this very desserty version. For our grandsons’ birthday party based on Fear Factor, they wanted challenging foods. We offered up snakes, but only the meringue type. These are really cute cookies that bring giggles from everyone, adults and children.
The recipe calls for mini M&Ms to make the eyes. I used mini cinnamon candies instead. They melted a tad so we had “teary” eyed snakes which actually were adorable. The kids ate them quickly to put them out of any misery. The picture below is pre-oven, and gives you a great view of this charming delicacy.
To get castor, or superfine sugar, you can purchase it, at a premium. Or, put one cup of regular granulated sugar in the food processor, let it spin for 3 minutes and you’ve achieved superfine.
Yield: about 20 squirming snakes
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar [superfine sugar]
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Blue, green, or purple food coloring, to tint
20 inches of soft eating licorice
40 red mini M&Ms
Beat the egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until dissolved between additions. This process will take about 10 minutes. Beat in the cornstarch and then the food coloring of your choice.
Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm-fluted nozzle. Pipe 6 inch-long snake shapes, 2 inches apart, on oven trays lined with baking paper.
To decorate the snakes, cut forked tongues from the licorice using a small sharp knife and lightly press into front of meringue heads. Lightly press the M&M’s on top of the heads for eyes.
Cook in a very slow oven (120C) for about 40 minutes, swapping trays halfway through cooking, or until firm to touch. Cool trays in oven with door slightly ajar. Don’t overbake, and do check after 30 minutes.