Once we were visiting my friend Katya at the time she was working on a recipe for meringue roulade with raspberries, and I had the opportunity to try one of the variations. Usually, I’m not very impressed with a meringue. Don’t get me wrong, I love desserts but when I am thinking about something sweet to indulge I never imagine a meringue. I could eat them. They are delicious when done correctly, just not my favorite.
But not this time. I had to have a recipe for this dessert. I was patient and waited until she published the recipe, collected some egg whites and finally made it.
Why this meringue roulade?
I was always afraid to do a roulade. No matter how easy the recipe sounds I always think I will fail. Once I’ve tried. The recipe said that it’s the easiest roulade ever and anybody can roll it. I end up layering cream between delicious sponge pieces. I gave up and never made another attempt until this time. The roulade I’ve tested was so delicate, so light, bearly sweet with a raspberry bite that I was hooked right away.
The meringue roulade recipe is very straightforward. You just need to understand some basic things and overcome your fear of the rolling :).
We need to get a flexible but stable meringue, and the crucial thing is the egg whites to sugar ratio. Vinegar and cornstarch are also important for the structure like in Pavlovas.
This is the Swiss meringue method which is relatively easy. You don’t need to deal with sugar syrup and be afraid to collapse the meringue. Just whip until medium-stiff peaks. Don’t forget the nuts. Use any you like. They will add some crunchiness to otherwise smooth dessert, prevent the meringue from stick to the paper.
Then bake for a short time, and you are almost done. So the preparation and cooking won’t take long and look at the result. I bet your family or guests would be impressed and think you spent the whole day in the kitchen making it.
Some notes to the process
I was using a piping bag for meringue and cream. You don’t have to in case of a meringue and I highly recommend to use it for a cream. The meringue is so soft and delicate you could easily damage it.
Whip the cream with a whisk and try not to overwork it, the cream will be ready in a couple of minutes. Keep it cold until needed.
Here is where experiments can take place. Modify the mascarpone cream by adding flavors: herbs, curds, fruit powders, coffee, tea, spices.
Learn by my mistakes. Don’t be greedy with the raspberries. It is a nice addition but too many of them will make it harder to roll the roulade nice and tight. A beautiful cut could also become a problem.
Of course, you don’t have to use raspberries. Play with other berries or fruits, cooked or raw, especially if you add flavor to your cream. Think lemon curd and blueberries, or basil and strawberries, or maybe mulled wine and pears (it’s Christmas anyway :)). Let your imagination fly and this dessert would have many delicious variations.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to eat this meringue roulade with raspberries right away. Be patient, let it set in the fridge. Then take some time for yourself, make a cup of tea or really good coffee and have a piece of this light like a cloud delicacy. And another one if you like. It’s ok not to share :).
Meringue roulade with raspberries
For meringue roulade
- 180g (6.3oz) egg whites
- 125g (4.4oz) superfine sugar
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1/2 tsp hazelnut extract
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts chopped
For mascarpone creme
- 227g (8oz) mascarpone cold
- 150g (5.3oz) heavy whipping cream cold
- 90g (3.2oz) powdered sugar sifted
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 1 pint raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a half-size baking sheet with a silicone mat.
- Combine egg whites and superfine sugar in a bowl and heat in a bain-marie until 140-145F. Remove from heat and whip at the highest speed until the volume of meringue stops growing (medium-stiff peaks). Add hazelnut extract, cornstarch, and vinegar and beat for another minute to incorporate them well.
- You can spread the meringue on the lined baking sheet and level with a spatula. Or use a pastry bags, and round piping tip with 1/2" opening. It helps to avoid incorporating large air bubbles between lumps of meringues and makes leveling much easier. Pipe keeping 1" of space between the sides of the baking sheet and the meringue edges. Level the top and sprinkle evenly with chopped nuts.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the meringue in the hot oven for 5 more minutes.
- While the maringue is baking, combine all ingredients for the mascarpone cream and whip with a whisk. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
- Remove the meringue from the oven and let cool down. If needed, separate the meringue from the sides of the baking sheet first with a sharp knife. Cover the meringue with a sheet of parchment paper and flip the baking sheet upside down. Carefully peel the silicone mat from what used to be a bottom of the meringue.
- The creme is very thick and spreading it with a spatula may damage the meringue. Use a pastry bag with basketweave decorating tip (I don't have one so needed to carefully level the cream with a spatula). Pipe the cream on the meringue. Scatter raspberries evenly over the cream.
- Using the parchment paper or a silicone mat, start rolling the meringue from the long edge. Carefully transfer the log to a serving plate and refrigerate for at least a few hours. Slice and serve.
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