We recently celebrated a family member’s birthday with one of Nico’s specialities, Eton mess. I have always loved the combination of sweet meringue, fluffy whipped cream and tart fresh strawberry, but hadn’t eaten it in this manner until Nico returned from his first trip to London. Nico’s dessert was made with store-bought meringue nests, but it inspired me to make homemade meringues, with the bonus of more Eton mess!
While searching for recipes I was intrigued by a blog post on strawberry meringues with their beautiful white, red and pink marbled swirls, which were adapted from a Valentines raspberry meringue recipe – what a sweet idea! I also referenced my trusty copy of Cook & Enjoy for its meringues recipe to come up with these strawberry & turkish delight meringues.
The chunky strawberry jam I used gave the meringues an extra chewiness. It also, along with the food colouring, added a whimsical pink colouring to these cookies. If you would like a more natural treat you can omit the food colouring.
The turkish delight meringues I made for one of the children’s birthday parties in the past were very popular, inspiring the use of rose water here too. Of course this can be substituted with vanilla essence or left out entirely to let the strawberry jam flavour feature on its own.
I used a tablespoon to spoon out the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, so my meringues turned out to be huge and took much longer than anticipated to bake. Next time I will use teaspoons to shape smaller meringues! If you find the meringues are not cooked to your satisfaction at the end of the hour you can bake them for longer, checking at 10 – 15 minute intervals.
Overall this is an easy recipe to make. It does take a while to dry out the meringues, so I would suggest planning ahead when making them. These meringues were gobbled up by the children so quickly, I had to hide some for our Eton mess!
Serve with whipped cream
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1ml cream of tartar
- 2.5ml rose water essence
- 2/3 cup castor sugar
- 2/3 cup sifted icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
- 6-12 drops pink gel food colouring
- Preheat the oven to 120C
- Line 2 large baking sheets with aluminium foil, dull side facing up
- Stir the strawberry jam and food colouring together in a medium bowl, using more food colouring for a stronger contrast
- Combine the sugars in a medium bowl
- Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form
- Add the sugar mixture by the spoonful, beating well after each addition
- Add the essence drop by drop just before the last two spoonfuls of sugar
- Continue beating the meringue mixture until stiff glossy peaks form and the sugar is dissolved
- Gently fold 1/2 cup of the meringue mixture into the jam
- Gently fold the jam meringue mixture into the rest of the meringue
- Shape the meringues on the foil with 2 teaspoons, leaving enough space in between the meringues for expansion
- Bake for 60 minutes. Leave the meringues in the switched-off oven to cool and dry out or remove immediately for soft, chewy centres