There are some foods that are a part of your psyche. They’re foods you’ve grown up with and often dishes that get you feeling a little nostalgic. For me, one of these dishes is meringue. It’s such a simple dish, quite literally as it can be made with just two ingredients. But somehow, the mix of egg whites and sugar creates wondrous little discs with crispy shells and soft, chewy insides. Adding a generous amount of cream, or in this case mascarpone, and lots of fresh fruit serves to create a dish that’s designed to make people want seconds. It also conjures up memories of Christmas day and eating mouthfuls and mouthfuls of these sugary nests till you were left feeling like rather a glutton. But then, if by any chance there were any left over that didn’t stop you eating them again for breakfast on Boxing Day. Although, on second thought that just might be me. That said, you should get yourselves into the kitchen and give these a go.
Chewy Meringues with Mascarpone and Berries
2 egg whites
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/2 punnet strawberries, cut into pieces
1/2 punnet blueberries
Preheat oven to 150ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, then add sugar, a little at a time, still beating. Beat in vanilla. Divide mixture into four and place four circular mounds of meringue on a baking tray and bake for 45 mins. Turn oven off, leave door slightly ajar and allow meringues to cool completely in oven.
Once meringues have cooled, divide mascarpone between the meringues and dollop on top. Scatter with berries and edible flowers. If you can’t find edible flowers, dried rose petals also look lovely.