My parents went to Ireland last week to visit my sister who just had a baby. They were killing some time at Blarney Woollen Mills when they decided to stop in at the restaurant. They tried something they had never had before - meringue roulade. They instantly fell in love.
On their way back to the States, they were going to have an overnight layover close to my house. So my mom asked me to make a meringue roulade while they were here. We made it and it was fairly easy (my trusty stand mixer making this possible).
So what is a meringue roulade? It's kind of like a sponge cake made out of a soft meringue (think lemon meringue pie topping, crispy on the outside with a soft, chewy center), filled with whipped cream and berries or lemon curd. It's a common dessert in Europe, but we American folk apparently aren't in the know.
It only takes 20 minutes to bake, and while it's baking you can do the prep work making the cream and cutting up the berries. If you make lemon curd it'll obviously add a bit of time. But it's a light, quick dessert, delicious, and it's sure to impress those you serve it to!
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar (in Ireland they use caster sugar, which is very fine sugar)
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tbsp powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups berries, using some for garnish
1/2 cup lemon curd
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Line 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper, extending 2 inches over ends of pan.
Beat egg whites in large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups sugar, beating until meringue is stiff and shiny. Tip: to test the meringue, rub a small bit of it between your fingers. If you can feel the grit, keep beating. My grit never actually went all the way away, but it was noticeably less gritty when I decided to just bake it as is.
Spread meringue evenly in prepared baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, about 8 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Bake until meringue is slightly firm to touch on top but soft inside, about 8 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and turn the meringue out onto a tea towel dusted with powdered sugar. Carefully peel off parchment paper and cool for 20 minutes. Tip: when turning the meringue over onto the tea towel, do it quickly or your meringue will fall apart. It may be crumbly, but that's ok.
Whip cream, vanilla, powdered sugar, and salt in medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Slice strawberries, if using.
For strawberry meringue roulade: spread whipped cream over meringue, leaving 2 inch border on one end. Sprinkle strawberries over the whipped cream. Starting at 1 long side, gently roll up meringue jelly-roll style, enclosing filling. Place roulade, seam side down, on platter. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with strawberries. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
For lemon meringue roulade: spread lemon curd over meringue, leaving 2 inch border on one end. Then spread whipped cream over the lemon curd, leaving 2 inch border on the same end. Starting at 1 long side, gently roll up meringue jelly-roll style, enclosing filling. Place roulade, seam side down, on platter. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with strawberries. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.