This really could be one of the simplest sweet treats you ever eat...what could be easier than whipping up meringue, spreading it in a tin and then leaving it overnight in the oven...completely forgotten!
This is also perfect if you tend to forget to check the bakes in your oven as I occasionally do, as there's no checking required. You literally turn the oven off as soon as the meringue goes in. The resulting meringue is more like marshmallow and then if that wasn't enough it's topped with cream and luscious summer fruits. I did enjoy these little puds but they are very soft, almost wobbly in their marshmallowy-ness and maybe it would have been nice to have a bit of variation in the texture but still delicious and some of the other tasters really enjoyed them!
You can either cut your marshmallowy meringue into 12 squares or if you prefer a more dainty offering then you could go for 16. The great thing about these is that you can also choose whatever fruit you like to top the meringues...I'm quite partial to raspberries so next time I might use them instead.
As this is a lovely light, summery treat I'm entering it into this month's Forever Nigella event which is run by Sarah at Maison Cupcake and this month is hosted by Homemade by Fleur. I think you could quite easily serve the more refined smaller squares as part of an afternoon tea.
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp salt
250g caster sugar, plus 2 teaspoons
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1tsp vanilla extract
Butter for greasing
250ml double cream
This really is one of the easiest things to make. Just preheat the oven to 220c/200c fan/gas 7. Then all you need to do is whisk the egg whites with the salt until they start to form soft peaks. Then add in the sugar bit by bit and then the cream of tartar and vanilla. Continue whisking until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
The original recipe didn't state a size for the tin but it suggests a swiss roll tin and I had one that was 32x18 cm which worked well. The only thing I didn't like were the slightly sloping sides making the side squares slightly irregular, so I therefore cut these off to make straight edges when I took it out of the tin the next day. So... when you've prepared your meringue and tin, spoon the meringue into it and spread evenly.
That's the hardwork over, as soon as you put it in the oven, turn it off immediately and then just leave overnight. The next day when you're ready to serve whip up the double cream until thickened but still soft. Then spread it over the meringue in the tin and dot with the seeds and pulp from the two passionfruits (the original recipe said 4 but it depends how much you like them!). I then cut my meringue up into squares and removed from the tin before adding the fruit. It cuts nicely into 12 pieces but if you wanted them smaller it could easily do 16. So the final step is just quartering the strawberries and tossing them in 2 tsp of sugar. Finally, scatter the strawberries and blackberries over each square and serve!
* Original recipe from www.nigella.com