Who will be getting a kiss from you this Valentines Day? A raspberry meringue one that is from Mat Follas' brand new book Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe.
200 g/1 1⁄2 cups raspberries
freshly squeezed juice of 1⁄2 lemon
or 40 g/11⁄2 oz. dehydrated raspberry powder
200 g/1 cup caster/superfine sugar
100 g/1⁄2 cup egg whites (approx. 3 large/US extra-large eggs)
50 g/31⁄2 tablespoons butter, softened
100 g/3⁄4 cup icing/confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment
PREPARE 20 MINUTES / COOK 45 MINUTES
For the raspberries (if using fresh raspberries), preheat the oven to 90°C (195°F). Place a sheet of baking parchment over a wire rack.
Spread the raspberries over the baking parchment and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Place in the preheated oven and leave in the oven overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Once dried, blitz the raspberries in a food processor until they form a fi ne powder, then pass them through a sieve/strainer.
For the meringues, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6. Ensure the bowl you use is perfectly clean. Sprinkle the sugar over a non-stick baking sheet and place into the preheated oven. At the same time, place the egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk (or use a mixing bowl and a hand-held electric whisk) and start mixing until stiff peaks form; this will take 5–8 minutes. Remove the, now hot, sugar from the oven and turn the oven down to 100°C (210°F).
Add about one-quarter of the sugar to the egg white mix. Whisk for a couple of minutes, then repeat until all of the sugar has been combined.
Whisk for another 5 minutes, checking that the mixture is fully combined and that no graininess remains. Finally, add about three-quarters of the raspberry powder and fold together, but leave some patterns in the mixture.
Spoon the meringue mixture into the piping/pastry bag and snip off the tip. Pipe the meringue mixture onto the lined baking sheets, making about 24–26 5-cm/2-inch kisses. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Check the outer layer of meringue has fully cooked and is crispy; continue cooking in 10-minute intervals if not. Switch the oven off and leave the meringues to cool in the oven for at least 30 minutes. Store the meringues in an airtight container until you are ready to serve.
For the buttercream, in a mixing bowl, whisk the butter and icing/ confectioners’ sugar together to form a smooth cream. Add the vanilla and a couple of dessertspoons of water. Whisk until a smooth, light buttercream is made. To serve, place a teaspoon of the buttercream onto the flat side of one meringue and stick it to the flat side of another. Sprinkle a little remaining raspberry powder over the top to decorate.
This recipe is from Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe by Mat Follas, photography by Steve Painter © Ryland Peters & Small