Thursday, 15 September 2011

Raspberry Meringue Roulade

Recipe Number Eighty Nine:  Page 360.

This luxurious dessert won the vote on my Facebook page, by a landslide! I was a little nervous at the prospect of making a meringue roulade. If you have read earlier posts you may have noticed that I can't even make a basic sponge Swiss roll, so goodness knows how I would get on with this! I have only eaten one meringue roulade before; it was at a party some years ago. I thought it was delicious.

On the way back from a trip to the park, Isaac and I popped into the little village shop. The shop is so tiny. Whenever I take the pushchair I find it almost impossible not to dismantle a display or ram into someone’s ankles! On a previous visit I'd been excited to see that they had started to sell large eggs (in the Baking Bible these are the size eggs used in each recipe throughout the book). I carefully edged down the aisle towards the eggs. They must have known that I was coming as all that were on offer on this occasion were medium, grrr! And they didn't have any raspberries! Neil works in the centre of the nearby town, so he nipped and got me the correct sized eggs and two punnets of raspberries on his lunch break – yet again he saves the day!!

I felt impossibly tired when Neil came home with the vital ingredients. I opened up the Baking Bible to see what I needed to do. I became confused; why would I need biscuits? Of course it soon dawned on me that I was reading the recipe for lemon meringue pie on the opposite page. This did not bode well! I needed a lot of egg whites for the meringue. I went to separate the whites from the yolks; I sensed something was missing, I looked around and realised that I didn't have a bowl, oh dear!! At this point I probably should have given up and had a lie down but, right or wrong, I carried on!

I have never really needed to whisk egg whites until very stiff before, but the instructions are most particular; they need to be very stiff! I was worried I wouldn't know when the whites were at the correct consistency. I needn't have been so concerned as suddenly it became quite difficult to move the beaters through the meringue, an obvious sign it was very stiff! Now it was time to add the sugar, and a lot of it too. It was important that I should only add a teaspoonful at a time and give a good whisk after each addition. This took some time and I was a bit worried as there was a faint whiff of burning plastic emanating from my electric whisk, eeek! Once the sugar had all been incorporated, I turned off the exhausted whisk and licked the surplus meringue from the beaters, yum. I have developed a bit of a thing for raw meringue; I am not sure if this is normal. Neil seems to think it isn't! I spread the stiff mixture out onto a lined Swiss roll tin. I popped the tray into the oven. The tin was almost brushing against one of the sides, but I didn't think much of it. This was a silly mistake as, when I checked on the meringue a few minutes later, it had stuck to the oven, oops! After eight minutes cooking on a relatively high heat, I turned the oven down and let the meringue cook for a further 15 minutes.

When the meringue was cooked, I tipped it out onto another sheet of greaseproof paper and left it to cool for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, I whipped up a lot of double cream. I can't help but notice that I have been eating a worrying about of cream lately. I seem to have moved away from butter in favour of the more luxurious and quite frankly delicious double cream! I mixed the raspberries into the whipped cream and spread it over the meringue. Now came the scary part of rolling it up, help! It started off well but, half way through the rolling process, the meringue started to crack. I managed to push it back together, so it wasn't too bad. I thought it looked rather good but I couldn't believe how big it was. Surely it could feed the five thousand! I gingerly placed it into the fridge to chill while we had our evening meal. We forced in a slice of roulade after dinner, Neil and I both thought it rather delicious. It was slightly chewy on the outside and mousse like in the centre. How can you beat raspberries and cream as a filling? Even though we were both stuffed, we managed another slice, just a slither of course!! As this meringue roulade is so large, I think we will be enjoying it over the next few days, not exactly a hardship!
This is only half of the beast - couldn't fit it all on the plate!!

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