Fiona Cairns' summer berry rose-scented meringue
by Sarah Randell
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.