Meringues are my ultimate treat. I buy the packs of mini meringues from ASDA and have them as snacks or deserts. They’re the perfect size to pop in your mouth and crunch down on, or crush up with some chocolate mousse, or nibble delicately at. Mmmm. I adore them.
Anyway, I needed to bring something nice in for my friends to share, and this new recipe is what I chose. It’s the first time meringues have really worked for me, so I was incredibly pleased.
A meringue roulade isn’t as difficult as everyone says it is — just make sure you have an electric whisk, or your arm may fall off.
- 4 large eggs
- 142g caster sugar
- 1 level teaspoon of cornflour
- 200g Quark (or soy yogurt if you’re dairy-free)
- A few drops of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of artificial sweetener
- 200g mixed berries, plus a few extra whole ones to decorate
- Icing sugar to decorate (optional)
Preheat the oven to about 150C, or as low as your oven will go. Then separate the eggs and put the whites in a large, clean bowl. As always, I separate the eggs by cracking them and carefully passing the egg yolk back and forth between the two shell halves. If you’re brave you can also crack the eggs over your hand with the palm up and the fingers loosely together; the egg yolk should stay in your hand whilst the whites seep through your fingers. Should.
Anyway. Then beat the eggs with an electric whisk (you want a medium speed) until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Mine looked like this.
Then turn the speed up to high and add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time, letting it be whisked in before adding the next one (about 5 seconds between each addition). When all the sugar has been added, add the cornflour and keep mixing until the mixture is stiff and glossy. When it’s ready you should be able to hold the bowl over your head without getting an egg-white shampoo.
Line a swiss toll tin with baking parchment. Or, if you’re cool like me and don’t have one, line a baking tray of roughly the right size with parchment. Either way, spread the meringue mix over the tin using the back of a large tablespoon, a palette knife or a spatula.
Try and make it as even and as flat as possible. This took me a quite staggering amount of concentration.
But I was using my new BBC Good Food spatula, so I was quite happy.
Aaaanyway. When your mixture is evenly spread like this…
You need to bake it in the oven for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half. Basically until it’s lovely and crisp but fluffy on the inside.
I’m having some trouble with the timings for this. The recipe says to bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes, but I ended up with what smelt like fried eggs. Sticking it in on a very low temperature and leaving it for longer seemed to work better and give me a nice crispy meringue. If you have any better ideas that 150C for 1-1 and a half hours, let me know.
When I took it out, it looked like this.
Let it cool. When it’s completely cooled, turn the meringue out onto a sheet of foil and very carefully peel off the baking parchment.
Then mix the Quark/yogurt with the vanilla and a tablespoon of sweetener until it’s smooth…
…before spreading that over the flat side of the meringue (The side you just peeled the parchment off) and dotting over the berries.
Now comes the fun bit; rolling. You want to roll it lengthways, small edge to small edge, and you want to make sure it’s rolled tightly. Don’t worry if things squish out; you can sort that out later. Just…go for it. Be brave, peel the foil off gently as you go, and don’t fret too much if it doesn’t go right because it will still taste delicious and that is what is important.
(I only wish I could remember that when I’m cooking myself and crying because it looks a mess. ANYWAY)
When it’s all rolled up, it should look a bit like this.
Dust some icing sugar over the top if you wish — easiest way to do this is to use what I call a mini-sieve but what most normal people call a tea strainer.
And then be very proud of yourself.
That was one seriously nice roulade.
You can vary the recipe as you wish — different fruit, adding cocoa powder to the filling/the roulade, whatever. Send me any pictures of any variations and I’ll pop them on the site with a shout out to you. And have fun making them!