Meringue roulades look terribly impressive yet they are not difficult to make-although an electric whisk of some sort (handheld or a Kitchen Aid type of mixer) is essential. They are also far more forgiving than pavlovas so that if the meringue cracks and flakes a bit it is easy to do a patch up job, dust with icing sugar and they still look delicious. If you haven’t made the Seville orange curd (see the Larder section) a good shop-bought orange or lemon curd is fine. If I am only serving a handful of people I make the roulade, cut it in half and freeze one half for a pudding for a later date.
Eggs vary so much in size these days that I find it easier to weigh the egg whites and then double their weight to find the correct amount of sugar to use.
- 6 egg whites, 200g in weight
- 400g golden caster sugar
- 50g chopped, roasted hazelnuts
- 300ml double cream
- 8 tablespoons Seville orange curd
- Line a shallow baking tray or large swiss roll tin about 35 x 28cm with non-stick baking parchment. Heat the oven to 180˚c, fan oven 160˚c, mark 4. Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whisk until stiff peaks are formed. Whisk in the sugar a tablespoon at a time. When all the sugar has been incorporated continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes until the meringue feels smooth between your fingers. Spoon into the prepared tin and spread the meringue to the edges in an even layer. Sprinkle over the hazelnuts.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes then turn the heat down to 170˚c, fan oven 150˚c, mark 3 and bake for a further 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and place a large sheet of baking parchment over the meringue-it should be at least 20cm longer on the long edges than the meringue. This will make it easier to roll up later. Place a flat tray or baking sheet over the parchment and invert the baking tray. Lift off the tray and peel the parchment off the meringue. Cover with a loose sheet of baking parchment followed by a slightly damp, clean tea towel. Leave to cool for 1 hour.
- Whip the cream to soft peaks. Remove the tea towel and parchment and spoon the cream on to the meringue. Spread to within a centimetre of the edges. Dollop over the orange curd and carefully spread over the cream. With the long side nearest you, bring up the near edge and start to roll up the meringue, trying to keep it as tight as possible. If you want to make the roulade look neater you can trim off the ends. Carefully roll on to a serving plate and chill until ready to serve.