Strawberry, black pepper and rose petal meringues

Strawberry, black pepper and rose petal meringues

Inspired by the flavours of Morocco, in this recipe rose petals infuse caster sugar with their delicate perfume. Use the sugar for sponges and cupcakes or for these wonderful meringues. The flavour of the strawberries is enhanced by a sprinkling of black pepper which balances the delicacy of the rose

Serves: 8. Prepare: 20 mins. Cook: 2 hrs

  • 3 egg whites
  • 175g rose petal sugar (see below)
  • 250g strawberries, hulled
  • 3/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 300ml pot double cream, lightly whipped
  • rose petals and extra strawberries to decorate
  1. Preheat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1.
  2. For the meringues place the egg whites in a really clean bowl and whisk until stiff enough to form peaks. Whisk in the rose sugar a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is really thick and glossy. Pile in small spoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with baking parchment. Bake for 1.5-2 hours until pale golden and crisp then turn off the oven and leave to cool overnight. When cold, store until needed in an airtight container.
  3. To assemble, mash half the strawberries with the pepper and caster sugar then fold into the whipped cream. Chop the remaining strawberries and stir in. Use the cream to sandwich the meringues in pairs. Pile onto a serving plate and scatter with rose petals and extra whole strawberries.

  4. Aga cooks: If using the Aga cook your meringues in the warming oven overnight, or for a two-oven cook in the bottom simmering oven for 1 hours then leave to cool still on the trays set on a rack. If you like your meringues dry then you can sit the tray on the top of the lid of the simmering plate for an hour or so to continue to dry out.
  • recipes Mary Gwyn
  • pictures David Merewether