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Thursday, 16 August 2007

Meringues with Raspberries & Crème de Cassis

I had a few raspberries that needed utilizing into some sort of dessert. I wondered what delicious dessert could I whip up? Not enough fruit here to make a flan or tart, but I only needed a few raspberries to top each meringue, perfect I thought.

In my store cupboard I have a lovely bottle of Crème de Cassis that I like to add to soft fruits like raspberries, strawberries or blackberries. I don’t like to add vast amounts, just enough to enhance the fruit flavours.

I always enjoy watching a few egg whites turn into this glossy billowing fluffy mass. Even more interesting when the sugar is added and this marshmallow-y effect takes place. I’m a fan of chewy marshmallow-y meringues and I’ve now got this recipe just how I want it for making them.

These are a decedent dessert and could be served at any dinner party, assembled last minute without causing any panic on behalf of the host/hostess.

Here is the recipe if you wish to make them too.

Makes 8 largish individual meringues

For The Meringues
6 egg whites
350 (12 oz) caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven 140°C/ fan oven 120°C / 275°F/ Gas 1. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick paper.

In a clean grease free bowl, whip the egg whites until they are stiff, (I use my stand mixer for this).

Mix the caster sugar and cornflour together then add a little at a time to the egg whites and keep whisking until all incorporated. Add the white wine vinegar and vanilla extract and whisk in. The mixture should look a glossy billowing fluffy mass.

Take a tablespoon place spoonfuls of meringue in circles on the lined baking trays, until you have the required size. I like to make largish meringues and this mixture makes me about 8.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, the tops will be crispy and the insides marshmallow-y. Leave to completely cool, these will keep in an airtight container for a few days if you want to make them in advance.

To finish the dessert you will need, approx 100g (4 oz) of raspberries, (the amount of fruit depends on how much you wish to use). Place the fruit into a bowl with a tablespoon of Crème de cassis and a tablespoon of sugar or to your taste if the fruit is ripe and sweet. Leave to macerate at room temperature.

I used a tub of double cream 300ml (11 oz); whip the cream with a sprinkle of sugar until it forms soft peaks. Leave in a cool place or fridge covered with cling film for the assembly of the dessert.

Take the meringues and carefully swash down a little on each one to hold the cream and raspberries. With a spoon divide the cream and raspberries equally and position on top of each meringue. Lastly, drizzle a little of the juice left from the fruit so it cascades down the raspberries, cream and meringue a little. All that is left now is for you to sit back and enjoy mmmmmmmm…………

Note: There’s also no reason why shop brought meringues can’t be used if you want to whip up a quick dessert at the drop of a hat. You could use different combinations of fruits for the topping; choose the fruit you like best or in season. You can even replace the double cream for Crème Faiche or mascapone.

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