Fiona Cairns' summer berry rose-scented meringue
Can it really be two years since Wills and Kate tied the knot on that sunny spring day? We love any excuse to make (and eat) a celebration cake, so we're baking something decadent to serve with a glass of bubbly to toast their anniversary on 29 April. And who better to ask for a right royal recipe than Fiona Cairns, who made their cake for the big day? This gorgeously summery meringue from Fiona's book Bake & Decorate (Quadrille, £19.99) hits the spot for us.
What's your favourite sweet treat to bake for a celebration? Tell us in the comments box below.
SUMMER BERRY ROSE-SCENTED MERINGUE
- FOR THE MERINGUE:
- 4 tsp cornflour
- 4 tsp white wine vinegar
- 8 egg whites
- 400g caster sugar
- pink food colour paste or liquid food colouring
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 600ml double cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla pod)
- 2 tsp rosewater
- 4 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 800g mixed cherries and berries of your choice
- 1 pot clear edible glitter (optional)
- 15-20 unsprayed rose petals
- Preheat the oven to 210ºC, fan 200ºC, gas 7.
- Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Draw 3 circles on to the paper, 10cm, 18cm and 25cm in diameter.
- For the meringue, stir together the cornflour and vinegar in a small bowl.
- In a large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt using a handheld whisk or in an electric mixer, until they form soft peaks.
- Add the sugar to the beaten egg whites, 1 tablespoon at a time, alternating with a little of the cornflour mixture each time. The meringue should be thick, shiny and marshmallowy.
- Using a spatula, spread the mixture into the 3 circles, keeping the discs reasonably flat.
- Dip the end of a skewer or a teaspoon handle into the pink food colouring (if using food colour paste, dilute with a little water first), then swirl it over the meringues.
- Put the meringues in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 80ºC, fan 70ºC, gas ¼. Bake for 1¾ to 2 hours.
- The meringues should be crispy and dry on the outside and may be a little cracked, which is fine. Leave the oven door slightly ajar and allow them to cool completely.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks form, adding the vanilla, rosewater and icing sugar to taste.
- Place the largest meringue circle on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread with some of the cream and scatter over some of the fruit. Add a little more cream, then place the medium meringue on top.
- Repeat with the remaining cream and fruit and top with the smallest meringue disc.
- Dust with icing sugar and a little edible glitter, then scatter over the rose petals.