Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Strawberry and Raspberry Vacherin

For when you require a real show stopper. The golden caster sugar give a light texture and slight caramel colouring to the meringue. If you would prefer a whiter colour, substitute for plain caster sugar. For those with less of a sweet tooth, substitute the milk chocolate for an extra 90g dark chocolate, to contrast.

1 tsp golden cornflour
175g caster sugar
3 egg whites
1 packet raspberries
1 packet strawberries
90g dark chocolate (does not need to be 70% cocoa solids)
90g milk chocolate
450ml double cream

Preheat oven 140 degrees/Gas mark 1.
Separate the three eggs. Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add half the sugar while continuing to whisk. Then use a large metal spoon to fold in the rest of the sugar and the cornflour, so as not to disturb the air bubbles you've created in the egg white. You can do this best by repeating the following motion - scoop round the edge of the bowl until half way, then cut through the middle and then back round the side. Continue this motion until the sugar is folded in and the meringue is glossy.

Cut two squares of baking paper big enough to put into your oven comfortably. On these sheets, take a ruler and draw 3 rectangles, about 10 by 25cm in size. Then, take another sheet of baking paper, cut into a square and role into a cone. Stick the edge of the cone with sticky tape and snip the bottom about 1cm up from the base. Alternatively, use a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle.

Using a spatula, carefully spoon some of the meringue mixture into the the top of the cone and tap gently to bring the mixture towards the base. Squeezing gently from the top, pipe lines across each rectangle, refilling with mixture when necessary. Place around the centre of the oven for 1 and a half hours. Whatever you do, do not open the oven door. When the time is up, turn the oven off but leave the meringues in over night to dry out.

The next day, melt the chocolate (for tips on this see the Lime and Blackberry Dessert recipe) spread onto the centre two of the meringues and but leave the edges exposed. Leave to set. Drizzle the rest of the chocolate on top of the third meringue. Whip the cream in a bowl with an electric whisk until just stiff. Fold in the raspberrys.

Carefully place the first chocolate covered meringue onto a serving platter. Spread with half the cream. Take the second chocolate covered meringue and spread with the other half of the cream. Stack one on top of the other and then place the last meringue with the drizzled chocolate on top. Slice strawberry's length ways and layer in a line up the centre of the top meringue. When you are ready to serve dust lightly with icing sugar.

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