This recipe has a few firsts for me—meringues, cooking with rosewater, and my first step into a Marie Claire cookbook. I have a lovely new friend, Desney, to thank for loaning me her copy of Michele Cranston’s Real + Simple. (For those of you who are lucky enough to already own a copy—yes, that’s the Desney in the acknowledgements!) Actually, Desney’s lent me a few cookbooks and I have been devouring them faster than I devoured this dessert! So stay tuned for some great new cooking ideas.
Now, this lovely little concoction is just heavenly. Meringues with cream and fruit are bliss on their own, and the addition of the rosewater is what makes this dessert stand out above the rest. You may have noticed by now that I’m a bit picky when it comes to the sweet stuff—it has to really, really be worth my time, both in the kitchen and out. The good news is that these rosewater meringues totally stack up!
Don’t be intimidated by the apparent fanciness of meringues; they’re actually quite simple to make. And the rosewater? Suffice it to say I’ve fallen in love with this unique little ingredient, and now that I have a whole bottle of it to use, you’ll be sure to see it cropping up again and again. Enjoy!
Makes: 6 servings or 5 very generous
Cooking time: 25 minutes hands-on
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
- 2 egg whites, cold
- 1/2 tsp rosewater
- 3/4 cup icing sugar (or 125 g of berry sugar)
- small container whipping (thickened) cream (250 mL, 1 cup)
- 2 pints strawberries or raspberries
- liqueur, such as triple sec, cointreau, or a raspberry or other flavoured liqueur of your choice
Preheat your oven to 275 F / 140 C and line a baking tray with good quality baking paper, or your silicone baking mat.
Beat cold egg whites and a pinch of salt in a large bowl until soft peaks form, then begin to mix in your sugar a heaping tablespoonful at a time. Blend each time until no more lumps can be seen. Once sugar is completely incorporated, add the rosewater and beat for another couple of minutes. The egg whites should be quite stiff by now, and very glossy and silky in texture.
Carefully dollop the beaten egg whites on to the baking tray to form 6 portions; don’t worry if they’re not perfectly rounded. Bake for 20 minutes, until just going a smidge golden on top. I forgot to do this part but you probably shouldn’t—once meringues are cooked, turn the oven off and leave them in the oven with the oven door open just a bit and let them cool. This will make them go hard and crumbly instead of soft and sticky as mine were… I had to pop them back in the oven for another 20 minutes to dry them back out. Whoopsie!
Store meringues in an airtight container at room temperature, they will keep for up to a week.
When you’re ready to serve, get your berries washed and hulled if needed (I cut the strawberries into quarters too) and whip your cream until soft peaks form. I like to put a couple drops of vanilla essence in my whipped cream with a pinch or two of sugar.
To serve, crumble the meringues slightly and add a dollop of whipped cream, a portion of the berries, and a little drizzle of a liqueur of your choice. Enjoy!