Meringue Roulade with Strawberry,
Cucumber and Mint Filling
Strawberries, cucumber and mint are a superb summery threesome. Use the most fragrant, sun-warmed strawberries you can find, and preferably an organic or homegrown cucumber. For the best flavour use organic eggs and cream. This show-stopper of a dessert will have your guests clamouring for more.
for the meringue
egg whites (preferably from organic eggs) 4
salt a pinch
caster sugar 250g
for the filling
cucumber (preferably organic or home-grown) 1, about 23 cm long
caster sugar 2 tbsp, plus extra for sprinkling
cream cheese (preferably organic) 250g
double cream (preferably organic) 200ml
mint leaves chopped to make 1 tbsp, plus a few small mint leaves to decorate
strawberries 280g at room temperature, hulled and thinly sliced lengthways
1) Peel the cucumber, slice lengthways into quarters and discard the seeds. Thinly slice the flesh diagonally. Put in a sieve and sprinkle with sugar. Leave to drain for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2) Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Line a large Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
3) Tip the egg whites into a large scrupulously clean bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Using an electric beater, beat for about 3 minutes until stiff peaks form. Beat in the sugar a tablespoonful at a time.
4) Spoon into the lined Swiss roll tin and level the surface. Bake for 6–8 minutes until pale golden. Reduce the heat to 140°C/gas 1, and bake for another 10 minutes.
5) Turn out onto a sheet of baking parchment. Carefully peel away the parchment lining the base. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
6) Whisk together the cream cheese, sugar and cream until stiff. Add the mint. Spread evenly over the meringue, leaving a 2-cm margin at either end.
7) Thoroughly dry the cucumber with kitchen paper.
8) Reserve a few cucumber and strawberry slices to decorate. Scatter the rest evenly over the cream.
9) Carefully roll up the meringue from the short ends, using the parchment to lift it. Transfer to a serving dish and chill for 30 minutes.
10) Decorate with slivers of cucumber, strawberry slices and mint leaves. Serve immediately.
It's important to drain and dry the cucumber thoroughly to prevent it from leaking liquid into the filling.
© Christine McFadden, May 2016