Edward Hayden was in the kitchen and he whipped up a delicious meringue roulade.
4 large egg whites
8oz/225g caster sugar
3oz/75g Flaked almonds
8flozs/225ml cream-lightly whipped
Fresh fruit-as required.
1. Line a large Swiss roll tray (13 x 9 ½ inches) with parchment paper ensuring that both the base and the sides are covered.
2. Put the egg whites into a large, spotlessly clean, mixing bowl and beat rapidly until the mixture forms stiff peaks. (A little lemon juice (4/5 drops) added to the egg whites tend to break them down a little better and gives you a fluffier meringue) You can use an electric hand whisk or a food mixer for this process.
3. When the mixture has formed the peaks add in the sugar gradually, whisking thoroughly between each addition.
4. When the correct consistency is achieved the mixture should be glossy and stiff.
To test if the correct consistency has been obtained turn the mixing bowl upside down-if the mixture does not come out of the bowl it is correct, if it does-you must start again-and wash the floor!!
5. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2
Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned.
Allow to cool in the tin.
Additional Flavours for meringue:
Substitute the caster sugar for light brown sugar for a toffee style meringue.
Add 2oz/50g grated chocolate to the meringue mixture before baking.
Sprinkle some chopped mixed nuts on the roulade.
To Assemble the Roulade
1. Turn out onto a large piece of parchment dusted with icing sugar, facing the side with the flaked almonds down and allow to cool.
2. Spread with freshly whipped cream.
3. Scatter with the freshly chopped fruit and roll up in one fast action
4. Pipe some additional cream on the top and arrange some extra berries on the top.
5. Decorate with mint leaves.
6. Transfer to the serving platter and dust with icing sugar
7. Watch it disappear!!
The meringue may be cooked and stored from the day before it is required as it does not have the same tendency to crack as a roulade of a whisked egg sponge.
Why not use the meringue crushed up with freshly whipped cream and berry compote to make an Eton mess served in a wine glass.
Piping the meringue into nests/shells and bake at 120C/250F for 1 hour for crisp meringue shells to serve with fresh fruit.
Adding 1 teaspoon cornflour and ½ teaspoon vinegar to the mixture will make a soft and chewy Pavlova.