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Ruth Watson's fresh coconut meringue roulade with chocolate fudge filling

by Sarah Alcock

Serves: 6

This recipe from Ruth Watson first appeared in Sainsbury's magazine in April 1998 and it still tastes delicious today.


  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 50g fresh coconut, rind removed and finely grated
  • 1 x 150ml carton double cream
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 50g dark muscovado sugar
  • 60g cocoa powder, sieved


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 2. Lightly oil and line a 35 x 25.5cm swiss roll tin with baking paper.
  2. To make the meringue, sieve the cornflour into the sugar, combine thoroughly and leave to one side. Whisk the egg whites until they form firm satiny peaks – you should be able to turn the bowl upside-down without any calamity – then whisk in the vinegar.
  3. Tip in about a quarter of the sugar and cornflour mixture. Fold this in by cutting down to the bottom of the bowl with a large metal spoon, then lifting the egg white up and over. If you do this firmly but deftly, the air won’t be lost.
  4. Repeat with the rest of the sugar mixture.
  5. Scatter the grated coconut over the meringue mixture and fold it in as you did with the sugar.
  6. Spread the meringue mixture lightly over the prepared tin, keeping 5mm clear around the edge to allow for expansion.
  7. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes; reduce the heat to 110°C, fan 90°C, gas ¼ and cook for a further 40 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly golden, puffed up and firm. Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
  8. Cut off a piece of clingfilm several inches longer than the baking tray and stretch it out on a clean work surface. Slide a knife around the edges of the baking tray to free any meringue that might have stuck, and gently check the baking paper is free too
  9. Carefully upturn the meringue on to the clingfilm, leaving a few inches of clingfilm showing at either end, then gently peel off the baking paper.
  10. For the filling, heat the cream in a medium-sized pan over a medium heat. Add the butter and melt it, bringing the liquid to a gentle simmer. After 1 minute, take the pan off the heat and tip in both sugars.
  11. Return the pan to a low heat and stir until the sugars have completely dissolved.
  12. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cocoa powder and a pinch of salt.
  13. Whisk until the mixture is smooth, then transfer to a heatproof bowl and leave to cool a little, stirring occasionally. Don’t let it get completely cold as it will stiffen up too much and won’t spread easily.
  14. As soon as the fudge filling is cool, spread it out in a fairly even layer over the meringue. Roll up the meringue, starting with a short edge, tucking in the first roll as tightly as you can, and using the clingfilm to help.
  15. Finally, use the clingfilm to help transfer the roulade to a pretty serving dish, making sure the joins are hidden underneath.
  16. The roulade will keep in a cool, dry place for a few hours until ready for eating, but preferably not in the fridge. Any leftovers should be stored in the fridge, however, even though the meringue will lose some of its crispness.
  17. Remember to take the roulade out a couple of hours before it’s needed, so the fudge filling can soften up. Although the roulade is pretty rich, a jug of thick cream alongside wouldn’t go amiss.

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