These pink meringues with raspberry cream are perfect for a children’s birthday party. For a girl, use pink colouring and raspberries. For a boy, use blue colouring and blueberries.
4 egg whites
300g/11oz caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
pink or blue food colouring
FOR THE RASPBERRY CREAM
75g/3oz fresh or frozen raspberries (or blueberries)
2 tbsp icing sugar
squeeze of lemon juice
400ml/14fl oz stiffly whipped cream (measured when whipped)
Heat oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Put the egg whites into a large, spotlessly clean bowl with a pinch of salt. Whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking between each addition, until it has all been added and the meringue is satiny and forms stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted from the mixture.
Fold in the vanilla extract with a large metal spoon. Using a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm nozzle, or a spoon, pipe or scoop the mixture into 8 individual meringues about 7cm wide (or 16 smaller ones) onto the prepared baking trays.
For the ripple colour effect, dip a wooden or metal skewer into your chosen food colouring and swirl it through each meringue. Bake in the oven for 30 mins. Test one by lifting and gently pressing on the base of a meringue – it should be crisp but give way with a bit of pressure; they will crisp more when cooling. Turn off the oven and leave to cool there with the door slightly ajar for best results. If possible, let them cool completely in the oven.
When ready to serve, make the raspberry cream. Put the raspberries or blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor and whizz until smooth. Push the mixture through a sieve into a bowl to remove the pips. Fold as much purée as you wish through the whipped cream, leaving it rippled if you like.
Dollop a generous tbsp of the cream on one half of the meringue and sandwich together with another meringue. Serve any remaining purée on the side.