I have a confession – I had never made a roulade, meringue or sponge, until last week! I guess it was just one of those things I thought might be too tricky to do.
So I decided to give it a go, doing a meringue roulade as I have a heap of egg whites currently frozen, left over from using many egg yolks used in panettone making. Well that’s another story…
I had the idea of what to do, having watched the Queen of Cakes Mary Berry make meringue roulade on a Great British Bakeoff special. So I felt well equipped to give it a go!
And while the result was a little informal – Mary’s favourite epithet to describe messy bakes in the GBBO – I quite liked the rustic finished product!
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
100g dark chocolate
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Icing sugar, for dusting
150ml cream (any whipping cream, however I used thickened cream as it whips better) see note*
150ml good quality Greek yoghurt
125g fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan forced. Line the base of a Swiss roll tin (23 x 33 cm / 9 x 13 in) with a sheet of baking paper.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition, until all the sugar has been incorporated and the mixture is stiff and glossy. The mixture should pass the “thumb and finger” test: roll a little meringue between thumb and first finger, and if it’s smooth and not grainy, all the sugar has been well incorporated!
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or very carefully in the microwave. I use this latter method, but you must do it slowly, in intervals, on a low setting, to make sure the chocolate doesn’t seize. Gently fold into the meringue. Fold the cocoa powder into the meringue equally gently.
Carefully spoon the meringue into the tin, flattening with a palette knife to level the surface. Place the tin into the preheated oven, and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until the meringue is firm to the touch. The meringue may take a little longer to cook, you want it to be firm enough to roll, but not so hard that it won’t roll but just breaks up.
Remove the meringue from the oven and, very carefully, turn out onto a sheet of baking paper. Peel the baking paper from the bottom of the meringue. Let the meringue cool for 10 minutes, but don’t let it get completely cool as it won’t roll.
Make a cut a couple of centimetres along the long side of the meringue. Make sure you don’t cut through the meringue completely. This cut will help you to start the roll.
Meanwhile, whip the cream to firm peaks. Fold the Greek yoghurt into the whipped cream. Spread the cream/yoghurt mixture over the surface of the meringue. Place the raspberries evenly over the cream.
Now roll up the meringue from the long side, using the baking paper to help you. It will be difficult to get it to roll, and it will crack, but the cracks are inevitable and quite acceptable! You may only get a loose roll, as I did. I think this is fine, as a more rustic roulade will still look good and taste great!
Place the rolled meringue, now a roulade, into the fridge to chill for at least an hour. The roulade can be left overnight, too. Unlike a pavlova, a roulade will benefit from getting a bit soft, as it will cut better.
To serve, dust liberally with icing sugar, and serve in thick slices.
*Thickened cream is available in Australia. It has a milk fat content of 35% and it contains additives – gelatine and vegetable gums, and this helps hold its shape when it’s whipped.