Dreamy rosewater meringues filled with chantilly cream, dotted with fresh raspberries and chewy turkish delight, and sprinkled with crunchy pistachios. I adore the way these flavours and textures combine to freshen up an Australian summer classic.
This recipe was inspired by this gorgeous pavlova featured in Delicious Magazine, but seeing as I’m often a sucker for mini desserts, I’ve adapted it for individual portions. These dainty delights would be the perfect way to round off a summer barbeque, and given you can make the meringues and prep the garnishes ahead of time, this dessert comes together pretty quickly when ready to serve.
(1) To ensure the greatest volume when whisking your egg whites, ensure all cooking utensils are squeaky clean from grease, and that you use the freshest eggs possible, at room temperature. If you need to bring the eggs quickly to room temperature from the fridge, placing them uncracked in a small clean bowl of warm water will hasten the process.
(2) The actual process of making meringues is fairly simple, but they can be a bit temperamental under certain conditions. To ensure the meringues are completely crisp and dry when baked, avoid making them on humid or rainy days (or if your local climate is always humid or rainy, crank the air-conditioning up in the kitchen to ensure the air is dry when you’re baking). To avoid your meringues browning and losing their lovely pearly-white tone, bake them on the bottom shelf of your oven using a low heat. To ensure your meringues don’t spread excessively when baked, the meringue must be whisked to very stiff peaks (you should be able to hold it upside down above your head and the meringue should not slide out of the bowl!). To prevent little bubbles all over the meringue surface, ensure the sugar has completely dissolved in the egg white (it should not feel gritty when rubbed between your fingers), and don’t overbake them. To avoid cracked meringues, allow them copious amounts of time (even longer than I’ve suggested in the recipe if needed (ie. a couple of hours if you have time)) to cool down very slowly. And if your first few meringue attempts are a total disaster, do not be disheartened! I learnt most of these tips from plenty of failed meringue attempts myself, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll fall in love making (and eating) meringue again and again.
(3) These meringues can be made in advance and will keep crisp in an airtight container in dry conditions for 1-2 weeks. After assembling the meringues together with the cream and berries, however, they should be served immediately as the cream and berries will quickly soften and degrade the quality of the meringues.
Turkish Delight Mini Meringues
Makes 6 medium-sized (approx. 8cm) mini meringues
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
110g caster sugar, sifted
1 tsp cornflour, sifted
½ tsp white vinegar
1 tsp rosewater
Gel-based pink food colouring
250ml (1 cup) pure cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
125g fresh raspberries
75g turkisk delight, chopped into 5mm cubes
25g slivered pistachios
(1) Pre-heat oven to 140°C (120°C fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper. Using a thick black pen and round lid or glass, trace six 8cm (3”) circles on the baking paper, 5cm (2”) apart, to use as a guide for the size of your meringue. Turn the baking paper over so that no pen marks appear on your meringue later when baked.
(2) Place egg whites and cream of tartar in free standing mixer with whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed until frothy.
(3) Slowly add caster sugar, teaspoon by teaspoon, while continuing to whisk (this process should take approx. 10 minutes).
(4) Turn mixer up to high speed and continue whisking until mixture transforms into glossy thick meringue and stiff peaks form (approx. 2 minutes). If you rub a little meringue between your fingers it should feel completely smooth, with no grittiness of undissolved sugar.
(5) Sift cornflour over meringue, then sprinkle with vinegar and rosewater, and fold gently to combine.
(6) Reserve one teaspoon of meringue, and tint with gel-based pink food colouring.
(7) Spoon or pipe the remaining white meringue onto baking paper circles, using the back of a teaspoon to indent the centre of each meringue to create nests.
(8) Swirl the surface of each meringue nest with small amounts of pink-tinted meringue, using the back of a spoon to create large swirls, or a toothpick or skewer for finer swirls (to achieve the effect in the images a spoon was used).
(9) Place tray in oven on bottom shelf and turn the oven down to 120°C (100°C fan-forced). Bake for 80 minutes, then turn oven off without opening the oven door and leave tray in for at least another 60 minutes to allow the meringues to cool down slowly.
(1) Whisk cream, sugar and vanilla in free-standing mixer or using a hand-held electric whisk until soft peaks form.
(1) To serve, place rosewater meringues on serving platter, spoon with chantilly cream, and decorate with raspberries, turkish delight and slivered pistachios.
Credits and Sources
White marble serving board from Bed Bath N’ Table
White scalloped dessert plates from Robert Gordon Australia
White ceramic nesting bowls from Antler and Moss
White ceramic dish with gold trim from Anna Wallace Ceramics
Napery from Red House VT