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The word ‘roulade’ comes from the French word for ‘to roll’ (rouler). Roulades can be savoury – made with meat or vegetables and filled with various ingredients – or sweet: made as a cake or meringue and filled with fruit and cream, as I’ve done here. Meringue roulades make wonderful summer desserts. I love the combination of crunchy, chewy and creamy textures. The meringue can be made a day in advance and stored unfilled and covered with foil. Just fill and roll the roulade on the day you intend to serve it.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF), Gas mark 4. Line the Swiss roll tin (23 x 33cm (9 x 13in) Swiss roll tin) with foil, folding the sides up to make a frame of 4cm (1 ½ in) high and squeezing the corners together. Brush lightly with vegetable oil.
Place the egg whites in the spotlessly clean bowl (stainless steel is best) of an electric food mixer (or use a hand-held electric beater) and whisk until soft peaks form.
Add the sugar all in one go (but if using a hand-held beater add the sugar in stages) and whisk at full speed for about 4–5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the coconut firmly and quickly.
Smooth the meringue into the prepared tin with a palette knife and bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until faintly browned and firm to the touch.
Allow the meringue to cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a sheet of foil (slightly bigger than the roulade) –deftly turn it upside down onto the sheet gently removing the foil on the base. Allow to cool completely.
For the filling, stir the cream and curd together. Adjust to taste – it should have a good ‘lemony’/’limey’ tang to contrast with the sweet meringue.
Spread the curd cream mixture evenly over the meringue, leaving the long edge nearest to you free for about 4cm (1 ½ in). Cover the cream with the fruit.
Holding the foil closest to you, roll up the roulade away from you and leave it in the foil until you are ready to serve (it will hold neatly here for a couple of hours in the fridge).
When ready to serve, unwrap the roulade and gently push it onto a serving dish using a palette knife or cake slice.
Dust with icing sugar and decorate with a few more raspberries and mint leaves, if you wish.
Irish coffee meringue roulade: Make as above, but at the end of step 2, fold in 1 tablespoon of instant coffee powder. For the filling, whip 425ml (15fl oz) whipping cream in a bowl, fold in 1 teaspoon of instant coffee powder, 1 tablespoon of sifted icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of Irish whiskey and then follow steps 7–9.
Meringue roulade with cherries and rosewater mascarpone: Make as above, but at the end of step 2, fold in 2 teaspoons of rosewater, 1 teaspoon of red or white wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sifted cornflour (no dessicated coconut) and bake for 20–30 minutes. For the filling, soften 250g (9oz) mascarpone with a spoon, then add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar and 1–2 tablespoons of rosewater to taste (you may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of cream to loosen the mascarpone and make it more spreadable). Spread over the meringue as above. Scatter 300g (11oz) halved and stoned fresh cherries over the mascarpone. Follow steps 7–9 and decorate with extra cherries.
Rachel’s baking tip
Rosewater (edible) is available from specialist shops and most chemists.
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