Recipe: Meringue baskets with strawberries

Strawberries and cream in a meringue basket, the perfect combination

Strawberries and cream in a meringue basket, the perfect combination - Credit: Archant

Emma Crowhurst conjures up a stunning dessert

This recipe is probably only achievable with a serious food mixer. The hand-held variety just isn’t going to cut it with such a dense meringue.

If you are trying to make meringue cuite with a hand-held electric mixer, you need a pan of steaming water under your glass bowl to give the egg whites a boost and get them stretching to incorporate lots of air.

The usual way to make meringue is to whisk the egg white until stiff and almost dry-looking, and then slowly add the caster sugar to form a stiff foam.

The difference here is the type of sugar. For meringue cuite you need icing sugar. This gives an amazing firm finish to the meringue if made correctly. It will keep for a good hour once whisked up, allowing you to make your basket in two stages.

The finished meringue is dense and chalky; it takes longer to melt in the mouth and is quite different to the crisp crumble of ordinary meringues. This means you can build more-complicated structures. My meringue basket was about 25cm deep and a good 30cm across, filled with a 600ml tub of whipped double cream and masses of delicious local strawberries. It served about 15 or more people and all got some of the still-crunchy meringue, an appropriate amount of cream and lots of the yummy strawberries.