Spiral meringues with raspberries and cream

After all those virtuous diet recipes, I thought it was time I shared something from one of our non-fasting days! These meringues went down a storm while we were in France and make a light and elegant dessert for summer dinner parties.

The raspberry vinegar gives a subtle hint of flavour and helps to stabilise the meringue, making it more sturdy for piping. As well as adding an extra layer of decadence, the chocolate seals the meringue so that the cream doesn’t make it go soggy. For this reason they will survive ok in the fridge overnight, but will be at their best if you can fill them closer to serving time and leave them at room temperature.

Spiral meringues with raspberries and cream

Makes 24

300 g caster sugar

5 egg whites

2 tsp raspberry vinegar

100 g dark chocolate (minimum 70 % cocoa solids)

450 ml double cream

250 g fresh raspberries

  • Preheat the oven to 200⁰C / gas 6 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  • Spread the sugar out on the baking tray and transfer it to the oven for 6 – 8 minutes or until just starting to liquefy at the edges.
  • Meanwhile, separate the eggs whites into a very clean free-standing mixer. When the sugar has had 5 minutes, start beating the egg whites on high speed.
  • When the sugar is ready and the egg whites are at soft peak stage, carefully pour in the sugar with the whisk running.
  • Continue to whisk while you add the raspberry vinegar, then whisk for a further 10 minutes or until the mixer bowl is cool to the touch.
  • Meanwhile, turn the oven down to 100⁰C / gas ¼.
  • Scrape half of the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe 24 spirals onto a lined baking tray.
  • Refill the bag and pipe another 24 spirals onto a second baking tray, then transfer the trays to the oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until they are dry and crisp underneath. Leave to cool completely.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bain marie, then dip the base of each meringue in the chocolate and leave to set on greaseproof paper.
  • Whip the cream until it holds its shape, then spoon it into a piping bag, fitted with a plain nozzle.
  • Pipe a mound of cream onto the base of a meringue, then sandwich it together with another. Repeat to form 24 pairs, then arrange the meringues on a cake stand with the raspberries scattered around.

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