An easy dessert

Posted on November 1, 2006 by Aun

In my third-to-last post, the one on Margaret River, I mentioned a dinner party that S, myself, and 2 other friends hosted in the super-cool Ron Roozen House. It was a fantastic dinner for several reasons. The company was great and the wines (as you would expect in wine country) were abundant, affordable and yummy. But what I liked most was that four of us were able to work well together in a not-so-huge but thankfully not-too-small kitchen. It was also great fun planning what dishes to make and serve. We had picked up some simple ingredients, spices and kitchen staples in Perth. But for the most part, we waited for something we saw in one of the gourmet produce shops or the Coles supermarket to inspire us.

S is a huge fan of Donna Hay. Hers is one of the few food magazines that S tries to buy as regularly as possible. When she saw the latest issue on the newsstands in Perth, she immediately grabbed a copy, saying that it would come in handy on our trip to Margaret River. Sure enough, the dessert that she made for our dinner party at the Ron Roozen house, roasted strawberries over meringues, came straight from the magazine’s pages.

This is a really easy and delicious dish to make and serve friends. In Margaret River, we cheated by buying already-made meringues (which you would never find on the shelves in Singapore’s supermarkets). But you can easily make them yourself. I’ve provided a recipe below that works perfectly (well, at least it does for me). While we were blessed to find super-fresh and sweet strawberries in Australia, because the strawberries in this dish are roasted with sugar, you can make this with fruit that is less than stellar.

The nice thing about this dessert is that, if you intend to serve it at a dinner party, you can make everything ahead of time. Plating each one takes just a few seconds. And while it’s actually really simple (just a few components), it looks and tastes great. Your friends will definitely be impressed.

Roasted Strawberry Meringues

Meringues
makes 12

4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Adjust your oven racks to sit at the lower and middle positions. Preheat your oven to 93 degrees C or 200 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In the bowl of a Kitchenaid mixer, beat the egg whites at medium-low speed until opaque and frothy, around 30 seconds. Add the cream of tartar and increase speed to medium-high. Beat the eggs until they are white, thick and voluminous. This should take another minute and a half. Sprinkle in half of the sugar and add in the vanilla extract. Continue beating until incorporated smoothly, another minute or so. Remove the bowl from the mixer and sprinkle in the rest of the sugar, folding it in.

Spoon heaping dollops of the mixture onto the baking paper. Press each one gently with the back of a spoon to create a small well. Bake for 1.5 hours or until the surfaces of the meringues are smooth and dry to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave to cool in there for a few hours. When completely cool, store your meringues in airtight containers in a cool space. They can keep up to 4 or 5 days.

Roasted Strawberries
16 strawberries, hulled, halved or quatered
1/4 cup caster sugar

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C or 390 degrees F. Place the strawberries in a baking dish and sprinkle with the sugar. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the strawberries are soft and syrupy. Remove and set aside.

To serve, top a meringue with some of the roasted strawberries. Then top with some whipped cream (which you can either make yourself or that you have bought from the market).

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About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. san san November 1, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    Hi, I really like the picture, with the suitably named header, which brings me to my next question – is the book you mentioned a while ago, the one that you and S are working on on simple entertaining ideas – coming to fruition soon? I hope it is, although I guess it will be for personal circulation only. That will be so cool!

  2. vanessa November 1, 2006 at 6:07 pm

    I am a huge fan of pav (from my boarding school days in melb). I used to look forward to dessert…at least once a week, it would be pav.

    Donna hay is great…simple recipes with nice clean photos to go with it. Her modern classic one cookbook and instant cook is great too!

    A magazine that i think is exceptional is “Fine Cooking”. It’s a canadian magazine. Has S flipped through that? It is a magazine i look forward to.

  3. Chubby Hubby November 1, 2006 at 7:19 pm

    San San: I wish! Nah, the book S and I both helped out on was Justin Quek’s. She did most of the work though. She’s also just about finished editing a book on Southeast Asian recipes, commissioned by ASEAN. Of course, I would love to be offered a contract to do a book of simple entertaining recipes. (hint to all lurking book publishers)

    Vanessa: Neither of us have seen “Fine Cooking”. I’ll have to ask the guys at Kinokumiya and Borders if they can bring it in. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. shaz November 1, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    I always dunno wat to do with those egg whites. I think this is an excellent way to use it up and be glam glam at the next dinner party. Too bad we can’t get good passionfruit here.. (the ones I get are pathetic white) passionfruit and pavs. Yum.

  5. Scott at Real Epicurean November 2, 2006 at 12:03 pm

    I love your introductory picture – makes your site just like a magazine (which I guess is the idea).

    Eggs are encountering a revival in my kitchen – I’m starting to relearn their uses all over again.

  6. vanessa November 2, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    I know for a fact that borders bring it in. But is very pricey…at about SG$18 per copy.

    I actually subscribe to the magazine (fine cooking). CAN$99 for three years…delivered to your doorstep….

    Pls do look out for the Dec edition, they have a baking for the festive season . :)

  7. foodiesubie November 3, 2006 at 2:18 am

    Hi there, just wanted to say I’m a huge fan — your selective palate, your “analyzing” of recipes and the gorgeous pix…. from a faithful reader from the US (but I’ve lived in S’pore!). Great inspiration for someone who’s thinking of starting her own food website and loves to eat and experiment in the kitchen…. I live for your asian cookbook recs. :)

    Also felt particular kinship once I read that you have a grown up version of my golden retriever pup (who sometimes helps me taste my kitchen creations).

    Thanks! :)

  8. siewyuk November 3, 2006 at 10:04 am

    love your cover page and text, it has a vintage feel, very 50-ish, but with a twist of a classy, modern touch to it. cool colours too!

    you’re right we can’t get ready made meringues in that size on the supermart shelves (only comes in small bite sizes) but Da Paolos in Holland V sells these super sized meringues ready made, for those who want an easier option.

  9. Keropok Man November 3, 2006 at 10:09 am

    The Chinese New Year period is a good time to make meringues. All the leftover egg whites from making cookies would come in handy!

    My favourite magazine is Delicious. Publish by ABC. Available at Kino and sometimes NTUC!

    A tip to share: Borders Singapore from time to time send online coupons to its email subscribers. I bought Justin Q’s book at 30% off. (which is around $20 off) A superb deal!

  10. jane November 5, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    Hi CH, can i find out if the meringues are very sweet? because i’m not suppose to take too sweet stuff.

  11. S November 6, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Jane,
    Unfortunately, they are pretty sweet. But I imagine these roasted strawberries would be fabulous on french toast, pancakes, waffles, scones and a whole bunch of other things.

  12. sofia November 6, 2006 at 7:46 pm

    haha, as a lover of pavlovas, i hyperventilated when i saw this recipe. right now the only place i know that has pavlovas on the menu is cedele. anyone knows other places that sell them?

    jason’s marketplace sells walkers brand meringue nests, 8 per pack. not sure about the size though. might want to pick some up for christmas–or daily–desserts.

  13. S November 7, 2006 at 10:12 am

    hi sofia, the store-bought meringues are really handy. I managed to roast the strawberries just as we were finishing our main course. It was an effortless dessert to make thanks to the ready-made meringues. But if you have the time to make your own meringues, it would be well worth your effort. The main difference is that you can give your home made meringues slightly softer, airier centres. I personally prefer these because it gives the meringue variation in texture and it combines with the strawberries and cream a little better. Give it a try!

  14. san san November 7, 2006 at 10:17 am

    Hi S, I thought I saw meringues at Canele. Not sure if they are different from those for this recipe.

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