Meringue and Rose Cake with Summer Berries

Diana Henry conjures up a truly magnificent dessert in this tower of meringue, cream, rosewater and fresh red berries
By Diana Henry
Meringue and Rose Cake with Summer Berries
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 12
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus drying time
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the topping

  • Petals from 2 fragrant roses
  • 1 egg white, very lightly beaten
  • sifted caster sugar

For the meringues

  • 9 egg whites
  • 500 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar

For the filling

  • 750 ml whipping cream
  • 100 g Greek yogurt
  • 135 g icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp rose water
  • 400 g strawberries, quartered
  • 300 g raspberries
  • 150 g redcurrants
  • 150 g blueberries

Method

1. For the topping: to crystallise the rose petals for the topping, paint each one with egg white and then dip in caster sugar, making sure that it gets well coated. Set on a wire cooling rack and leave somewhere warm and dry to harden. It will take about 1 1/2 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 110C/gas ΒΌ.

3. For the meringues: beat the egg whites until stiff, and then add half the sugar, whisk again until the mixture is very glossy, then add the rest of the sugar and beat lightly to incorporate. Fold in the cornflour and vinegar, these will help ensure the mixture remains stable.

4. Line three baking sheets with baking parchment. On one sheet spoon some of the meringue into a flat circle measuring 26cm in diameter. On the second sheet, spoon out another smaller flat circle of about 20cm diameter and on the third sheet, spoon out a rounded circle of about 13cm in diameter and put a turret of egg white on top. Bake in the oven for 2 hours until they are completely dry and lift off the paper easily. Leave to cool.

5. For the filling: lightly whip the cream, then fold in the yogurt, sugar and rosewater. Layer up the meringue discs with the cream mixture and fruit, making sure that you allow some of the fruits to peek out at the sides - be generous and abounding!
Dot the crystallized petals over the cake, tucking them in or using cream as glue. You can't just throw them on nonchalantly as they may then fall off.

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