Melanie O’Reilly reveals the clever secret of her magnificent meringue delight
For the meringue topping:
- 3 or 4 egg whites (I tend to use 4)
- Very roughly speaking 350g of caster sugar
For the sponge:
- You can cheat by buying a ready-made sponge in any supermarket (Gateaux do a brilliant one with a slight indentation for the fruit)
For the fruit mix:
- Crème de cassis
Preheat the oven to around 180°C.
Before you start on the meringue, halve the berries and place them in a bowl. Then, pour the crème de cassis over the fruit and use a tablespoon to mix the fruit around a little (feel free to be generous with the crème de cassis!).
Separate the whites from the yolk. If you have a food processor, excellent. If not, an electric hand mixer with whisk works well, or if you are into torture a hand whisk or egg beater work just dandy! Place the whites in a bowl and begin to whisk. They should turn foamy and whiter, and when they have risen a substantial amount then is the time to start adding the caster sugar little by little. The mixture will be ready when the egg whites and sugar have formed a stiff and snow white mix in which the whisk leaves an imprint. Be very generous with the amount of meringue you make to be sure its going to cover the sponge nicely.
Now sneakily unwrap the store bought sponge, take the crème de cassis soaked fruit and place the fruit on the sponge using some crème de cassis to soak the sponge a little for a little kick. Then cover the fruit-filled sponge with a generous meringue topping. Place in the preheated oven and allow to bake. The magnificent meringue delight is ready when the top of the meringue starts to get a slight brown colour to the edges. Take it out of the oven and allow to cool.
Serve on its own or with some crème fraiche or some whipped cream on the side.