Wild Strawberry and Rose Meringue Roulade with Crystallised Rose Petals
Updated: Jun 17
Listen, I want to own up on this one. I have a patch of wild strawberries in the garden, unfortunately where I live in Essex there simply isn’t the volumes of strawberries that you require to make this dish (not that you need a huge amount). The most prolific place I have ever seen wild strawberries growing was in the Welsh mountains, literally everywhere. So if you are lucky enough to live in an area where there is loads of wild strawberries or have a patch like me make this.. You’ll love it!
Note: If you can't get hold of wild strawberries you can, of course, replace the wild strawberries for shop-bought or home grown. Just don't bother to use strawberries unless they are in season as the time and effort to make this roulade will not be worth it.
Tips for making the Perfect Meringue Roulade
To achieve a perfect meringue roulade, there are several key tips to keep in mind. First and foremost, it's important to use fresh eggs. Fresh eggs with firm whites yield better meringues, so make sure to use the freshest eggs available. Additionally, ensure that there are no traces of yolk in the whites, as even a small amount can affect the whipping process.
Another important factor is the temperature of the eggs. Let the eggs sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before separating them. Room temperature egg whites whip up better and faster than cold ones, resulting in a better meringue texture.
When it comes to equipment, make sure your mixing bowl and mixing blades are clean, dry, and free from any traces of fat or moisture. Any residue can prevent the egg whites from reaching their maximum volume, so cleanliness is crucial.
When you're ready to start whipping the egg whites, begin with low speed to get things going. This helps to stabilise the structure and prevents overbeating. As you progress, gradually add the sugar. Add the sugar gradually, about a tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat the egg whites. This allows the sugar to dissolve and prevents graininess in the meringue.
Keep beating the egg whites at medium-high speed until they form stiff peaks. Stiff peaks mean that when you lift the beaters, the peaks should stand straight without collapsing. Achieving stiff peaks is a key indicator of a well-whipped meringue.
When incorporating any additional ingredients into the meringue, such as flavourings or dry ingredients, be gentle with the folding process. Use a spatula and fold them in gently. Over-mixing can deflate the meringue and result in a dense roulade, so take care not to overdo it.
To prepare for baking, line your baking tray with parchment paper. This prevents sticking and makes it easier to roll the roulade later on. Spread the meringue mixture evenly onto the prepared baking tray, using a spatula to create a smooth and consistent layer. It's important to ensure that the thickness is even throughout for a uniform roulade.
Follow the recipe instructions for the correct baking temperature and duration. Generally, a low and slow baking process is preferred for meringue roulades. This helps to prevent excessive browning and ensures even cooking.
Once the meringue is baked, allow it to cool completely before attempting to roll it. This prevents cracking and breaking, although you will always get a few craks (this adds to the character of the roulade). After cooling, carefully spread your chosen filling, such as whipped cream or fruit, over the meringue. Using the parchment paper as a guide, gently roll the roulade from one end to the other, keeping it tight but not overly compressed.
For the best results, refrigerate the meringue roulade for at least an hour before serving. This allows it to set and makes it easier to slice without losing its shape.
Remember, practice makes perfect! Don't be discouraged if your first attempt isn't flawless. With time and experience, you'll master the art of making a perfect meringue roulade. Enjoy the process and have fun!
Wild Strawberry and Rose Meringue Roulade with Crystallised Rose Petals
For the Roulade:
5 egg whites
250g golden caster sugar (with a little extra for the cream)
2 caps of rose water
200g strawberry jam (better the better)
284ml double cream (1 tub)
Small handful of wild strawberries
For the Crystallised Rose Petals:
Handful of wild rose petals (clean and dry)
1 egg white
1 small cup of very fine sugar (not icing sugar)
How to make Crystallised Rose Petals
First the crystallised rose petals, in a small bowl, combine the egg white with a little water, beat lightly with a fork. In a saucer place your sugar. Rose petals have a wonderful perfumed flavour but you do need to gently remove the white part at the base of the petal as its bitter (use a sharp knife to remove it). Holding a flower or petal in one hand, dip a clean paint brush into the egg white with the other and gently paint the flower on both sides. Holding the flower or petal over the sugar dish, gently sprinkle sugar evenly again, all over both sides. Place petal on a non-stick sheet. Continue with the rest of the flowers.
Store in a dry place and let the petals dry completely. To do this more quickly place the petals on non-stick sheet in the oven at 150 degrees with the door ajar for a few hours.
Store the dried, crystallised flowers in airtight containers until ready to use, as long as they are completely dry they will last for ages.
How to make the Roulade
Get the oven on at 180C. Line a shallow sided tin or even better a Swiss roll tin (30cm x 30cm), with baking paper. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Next add the sugar a little at a time and whisk until the egg whites are stiff and the sugar thoroughly mixed in. Spoon the mixture evenly onto the baking tray and level it out nicely, bake for 15 minutes, until crisp on the outside and the top has taken a little colour. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely.
Visit our shop and grow your own wild strawberries.
Lay a piece of fresh greaseproof paper out and gently flip the meringue over onto it, carefully pull away the used paper and discard. The edges may have got a little crispy during the cooking, so if need be, and again with a sharp knife, trim off the edges. You need spreadable jam for the next stage so if you keep jam in the fridge make sure it has been out for a while and warmed up to room temperature. Spread the strawberry jam over the meringue all the way to the edges. Next, whip the cream with a little more sugar and the rose water. When you want to whip the cream to almost stiff peaks, once this is achieved spread the cream over the Jam, again to the edges.
Next, sprinkle over the wild strawberries, making sure that the strawberries are again evenly distributed through the roulade. Roll the meringue up lengthways using the paper to help turn it over. Put on a serving tray and dust with icing sugar and liberally sprinkle with the crystallised rose petals.
So let’s picture the scene. A perfect lightly coloured crispy roll of meringue, softly whipped rose scented cream and strawberry.. A simple show stopper of a dessert that combines the wonderful perfumes and flavours of wild rose and wild strawberry against a rich cream and the texture of baked meringue. Oh, and if you like your meringue chewy, put it in the fridge overnight, it’s even better the next day!!
Check out What Wild food is in Season now by clicking the link.