Crisp meringues and billowing folds of freshly whipped double cream flavoured with rosewater, truly scrumptious for a decadent afternoon tea.
3 free range egg whites
175g (6 oz) caster sugar
300ml (½ pint) double cream
1-2 tsp rosewater
Icing sugar Mint sprigs Rose petals
Serves 24 halves
1. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, and then gradually whisk in the sugar, a teaspoon at a time. Whisk in the food colouring – only use a drop at a time until the colour is to your liking. Place a piece of Bake-O-Glide onto the cold plain shelf, or large baking sheet. Pipe the meringue mixture into 24 swirls onto the Bake-O-Glide.
2. The tray of meringues should be placed on a grid shelf on the floor of the simmering oven to dry out for about 2 hours. Turn the plain shelf after an hour. Alternatively, if you have an AGA with a warming oven, place the meringues in the centre on the warming oven and leave to dry out for about 2 ½ - 3 hours, turn, the plain shelf after about 1 ½ hours.
3. If the meringues are coloured to your liking but not quite cooked, take them out of the oven and place on a Chef’s Pad on the closed lid of the simmering plate for 2 or 3 hours to continue to dry out.
4. To serve, whip the double cream with the rosewater until it just holds its shape and sandwich the meringue halves together, placing on a plate. Decorate with whole ripe strawberries.
Conventional cooking: Dry out the meringues at 120ºC (250ºF) fan oven 100ºC, Gas Mark 1 for 1½-2 hours. Turn off the oven, leave the meringues until cold.