Raspberry Roulade

Lesley Holdship - Home Economist, Food Stylist & Recipe Writer

Meringue mysteries

Sat, Jun 5 2010

We don't, as a rule, eat puddings in our house. I keep yoghurt, fruit and perhaps some ice-cream most of the time I suppose. But when I have to test some recipes or we have friends over, puddings will have a cameo role. Harley used to really hate meringues but I recently did a recipe for some-one of meringues with Maltesers in them and he now can't get enough. I think that at this time of the year a meringuey pudding is a prudent one with such hot weather upon us we can justify one or two scoops of ice-cream and some seasonal fruits.
Meringues have a bit of a reputation, I think, in that they are often thought of as difficult. All you need is a clean bowl, a whisk - an electric one is best! - an oven, some eggs and sugar. whisk egg whites until stiff. Gradually add sugar - 50g per white - until the mix is glossy. At this point add what you like. A handful of chopped nuts, be it pistachio, hazelnut or walnut. Fold in a couple of spoons of good cocoa, swirling it into the mix. Or some chopped chocolate bars. Just have an experiment. Place the mix in large tablespoons on a tray lined with parchment then bake for an hour at 130 degrees. Leave to cool in the oven. There are many people who have different opinions on meringue making. A very well known chef once put me down in front of an audience for not putting salt in the meringue. Then in the next dem, I did it before he could ask and he then shot me down for that! Some cook for longer, some are piped. Who can tell, it's all down to personal preference- like plenty of food!
Whatever the case, serve with lashings of cream and fresh fruit. They will keep for ages in a tin but if, for any reason, they don't get eaten, put them on the bird table for the local wildlife!
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