15.6.11

Wild Strawberry and Rose Meringue Roulade with Crystallised Rose Petals

Listen, I want to own up on this one. I have a patch of Wild Strawberries in the garden, unfortunately where I live in Essex there simply isn’t the volumes of Strawberries that you require to make this dish (not that you need a huge amount). The most prolific place I have ever seen Wild Strawberries growing was in the Welsh mountains, literally everywhere. So if you are lucky enough to live in an area where there is loads of Wild Strawberries or have a patch like me make this.. You’ll love it!

Wild Strawberry and Rose Meringue Roulade with Crystallised Rose Petals

For the Roulade:
5 egg whites
250g golden caster sugar (with a little extra for the cream)
2 caps of Rose water
200g Strawberry Jam (better the better)
284ml double cream (1 tub)
Small handful of Wild Strawberries
Icing Sugar

For the Crystallised Rose Petals
Handful of Wild Rose Petals (clean and dry)
1 egg white
1 small cup of very fine sugar (not icing sugar)

First the Crystallised Rose Petals: In a small bowl, combine the egg white with a little water, beat lightly with a fork. In a saucer place your sugar.

Rose petals have a wonderful perfumed flavour but you do need to gently remove the white part at the base of the petal as its bitter (use a sharp knife to remove it). Holding a flower or petal in one hand, dip a clean paint brush into the egg white with the other and gently paint the flower on both sides. Holding the flower or petal over the sugar dish, gently sprinkle sugar evenly again, all over both sides. Place petal on a non-stick sheet. Continue with the rest of the flowers.

Store in a dry place and let the petals dry completely. To do this more quickly place the petals on non-stick sheet in the oven at 150 degrees with the door ajar for a few hours.

Store the dried, crystallised flowers in airtight containers until ready to use, as long as they are completely dry they will last for ages.

Now to the Roulade: Get the oven on at 180C. Line a shallow sided tin or even better a Swiss roll tin (30cm x 30cm), with baking paper. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Next add the sugar a little at a time and whisk until the egg whites are stiff and the sugar thoroughly mixed in. Spoon the mixture evenly onto the baking tray and level it out nicely, bake for 15 minutes, until crisp on the outside and the top has taken a little colour. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely.

Lay a piece of fresh greaseproof paper out and gently flip the meringue over onto it, carefully pull away the used paper and discard. The edges may have got a little crispy during the cooking, so if need be, and again with a sharp knife, trim off the edges. You need spreadable jam for the next stage so if you keep jam in the fridge make sure it has been out for a while and warmed up to room temperature. Spread the Strawberry Jam over the meringue all the way to the edges. Next, whip the cream with a little more sugar and the Rose water. When you want to whip the cream to almost stiff peaks, once this is achieved spread the cream over the Jam, again to the edges. Next, sprinkle over the Wild strawberries, making sure that the Strawberries are again evenly distributed through the Roulade. Roll the meringue up lengthways using the paper to help turn it over. Put on a serving tray and dust with icing sugar and liberally sprinkle with the crystallised rose petals.

So let’s picture the scene. A perfect lightly coloured crispy roll of meringue, softly whipped rose scented cream and Strawberry.. A simple show stopper of a dessert that combines the wonderful perfumes and flavours of Wild Rose and Wild Strawberry against a rich cream and the texture of baked meringue. Oh, and if you like your meringue chewy, put it in the fridge overnight, it’s even better the next day!!

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