As someone who is not a sweet tooth, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I love this dessert. Of course only ever in small doses but I really do love it.
Its essentially made of 3 parts. A meringue which you make using egg whites and plenty of sugar; a creamy topping and fresh fruit or some kind of 'sauce/custard'.
The thing is, the meringue is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to make. I tried making it several times and it either came out burnt or too chewy or not cooked or it shrank....man the learning process was intense. I will tell you for free that the first time you attempt the recipe, it will probably be a fail BUT you will learn from it.
Anyway, away from the seriousness, this is a lovely dessert and if you make a large enough one its great to share at a table. You have the crunch and chewiness of the meringue, then the creaminess and then the tartness of the fruit. Oh, its also a very pretty centerpiece for any gathering.
For the Meringue
4 large eggs
110 grams castor sugar
1 teaspoon of vinegar
For the cream topping
2 tubs mascarpone cheese
For the fruit coulis
4 punnets fresh raspberries
15 grams icing sugar
To start, line your baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle some flour on the paper. (this helps the meringue come easily off the paper) Pre-heat your oven to 100 °C.
Crack your eggs and separate the eggs from the yolks making sure no yolk gets into the egg whites. Once you have your yolks, use your whisk to start beating the egg whites. Keep at it until the egg whites form soft white peaks. At this stage, gradually add the sugar a little bit at a time. Keep whisking the egg whites and adding the sugar. Once the sugar is done, add your vinegar and keep whisking until the egg whites form stiff white peaks. i.e the peaks should remain upright after removing the whisks and they mixture should also be glossy.
Fun fact: A fun way to check if the meringue is ready is to tip the bowl upside down. If the meringue is ready, then it will stay in the bowl..if not, well, you'll have a big ol' mess.
Once its ready, place the mixture in a tall heap onto your baking sheet and then use your spatula to spread it and shape it into a circle making sure NOT to spread it too thin. Put it into the oven for about an hour or until it turns a slightly cream color. You can lightly tap the meringue to check that its hardened. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue there until completely cooled.
In a small saucepan, add half your raspberries and the icing sugar and let the berries cook down on a low heat. Once cooked through, strain the mixture to get the seeds out.
To assemble, gently spread your marscapone over the top of the meringue and then spread the raspberries over the middle of the marscapone. The last bit is to then drizzle the raspberry coulis over the marscapone and berries and then dust lightly with some icing sugar.
You are now ready to serve.