Monday, 1 September 2014

White Chocolate Meringues with Strawberry Coulis and Fresh Raspberries

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues A complete meringue
These are so easy to make and look so spectacular!
On my trip to the amazing Jan Powers Farmers markets, I couldn't resist the fresh raspberries on offer from My Berries and the fresh picked strawberries from the stalls. I have so many amazing idea as to what to do with these berries and this is just one (I'm thinking up a pretty spectacular cake) but for now I want to show you this super simple dessert that really let's the berries be the star of the show.

This is my version of Eton Mess. Traditionally made with meringues, strawberries and cream, my version ups the stakes by adding chunks of white chocolate to the meringues and lightens it ever so slightly with the zingy tang of Greek yoghurt.

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues All the ingredients
Here's (almost) everything you need! ...lemon juice was camera shy
I recommend using the biggest eggs you can find and make them fresh and free range. Start by separating the eggs. Now eggwhites freeze easily but egg yolks take a little work to save, you need to mix some salt or sugar in with the yolks before freezing. Honestly, I don't bother. Keep them in a container in the fridge if you're going to use them in the next couple of days.

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues satiny meringue
This is the satiny, shiny, stiff meringue!
Beat your egg whites til they turn foamy and just start to hold their shape, then beat in the sugar in, tablespoon by tablespoon til it's all gone. I used vanilla sugar in this, as I love the dimension it adds. Whenever you use a vanilla pod, chuck the scraped pod into some sugar for easy, flavoured sugar. I hate waste and vanilla pods are expensive, yo! Plus you get vanilla sugar - win, win, win. If you haven't been so lucky as to craft yourself up some vanilla sugar, regular caster sugar works perfectly well.

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues chopped white chocolate
The chocolate white chocolate gravel.

So once all the sugar has been added, fold in the white chocolate, one teaspoon of white wine vinegar and a pinch salt Make sure when you chop up the white chocolate you get a range of sizes in there. The small pieces will melt through your meringues and permeate them with flavours while the big pieces will be delightful chunky surprises.

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues satiny meringue with chocolate in it
See that pink spatula thing? That has got to be one of my most favourite kitchen tools and it was an impulse buy for like $3. This is once the vinegar and chocolate is folded in.

The vinegar may seem an unusual addition to sweet meringues and if you're cheeky and taste the raw meringue, you can taste it. Don't worry, that cooks away and you won't notice it in the finished meringues. The vinegar makes the meringues turn wonderfully crisp on the outside and chewy, soft and delightful on the inside.

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues tracing shapes for the meringues
I fit three on a sheet and then did the same thing over with the remaining mixture, so 6 meringues all up.

I like to use the outline of a bowl to trace circles on baking paper to make sure all my meringues are the same shape and size. I used a bowl that was 14cm in diameter.  Add a little dab of the meringue to the back to stop your paper slipping around. You could use a piping bag to make the meringues neater but I like the roughness of shaping the with a dessert spoon. Make a little hollow with the back of your spoon for the berries and yoghurt to nestle in later.

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues indentation in the meringue
See the indentation? That's gonna make the meringue into an awesome little bowl for your toppings.

The strawberry coulis couldn't be easier. Put the elements on the stove, give them a quick stir and let them simmer away into a delightful sauce. There is less sugar than you'd find in a lot of coulis recipes, I don't think fresh strawberries need much sugar.

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues strawberry coulis
This is the completed syrup. So easy, so good.

Once you've got it all together, your mouth is in for a treat. Assembly takes no time. Everything can be made ahead and plated up quickly. These are the perfect thing to serve at a dinner party if you're being a grown up, or just as good for afternoon tea!

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues white chocolate in the meringue
See that little chunk of white chocolate in there? That's the magic.

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues
Like my flat lay? Yeah. I'm a professional food stylist now...

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues up close meringue
The raspberries are lovely bursts of sweet tartness!

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues yummy meringue
A delightfully easy dessert, you're gonna love it.

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues spoonful of meringue
Get in mah belleh!

Cassie Cakes White Chocolate Meringues the washing up
And the not so pretty aftermath!

White Chocolate Meringues with Strawberry Coulis and Fresh Raspberries

For the meringues
6 large egg whites
250g vanilla sugar - ordinary caster sugar is also suitable
100g white chocolate
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Pinch Salt

For the strawberry coulis
500g strawberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water

To serve
500g Greek yoghurt
Fresh raspberries
White chocolate, extra

Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 60 mins
Total time:  75 mins
Servings: 6 large meringues

To make the meringues
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Roughly chop chocolate into varying sized pieces and set aside.
  3. After separating the egg yolks from the white, place egg whites into a large, metal or glass bowl.
  4. Beat on a high speed until the eggs are foamy and starting to stiffen.
  5. Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time until all the sugar is added and the meringues are at the stiff peaks stage. They should be stiff and shiny.
  6. Gently fold the chocolate and the white wine vinegar.
  7. Cover a baking sheet with baking paper and use a bowl to trace circles on the baking paper.
  8. Spoon meringue onto the circles and use the back of a table spoon to create an shallow indentation.
  9. Place tray into the over and turn the oven down to 150°C. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and leave meringues in the oven with the door shut for a further 30 minutes.
  11. Take the tray out of the oven and allow meringues to cool.
To make the coulis
  1. Roughly chop the strawberries and add to a medium saucepan.
  2. Add the sugar, water and lemon juice in the pan with the strawberries
  3. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, til the coulis has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Allow to cool.
To serve
  1. Add a 2 - 3 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt to each indentations of the meringue and divide the strawberry coulis between each meringue.
  2. Tumble over fresh raspberries and grate white chocolate over the top.

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