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Monday, June 13, 2011

Rosewater Meringue

I started to think I had some sort of love affair with meringue. I love its sweetness and delicate crisp texture that melts in the mouth.

Apart from my biggest love affair with Macaron (the almond meringue cookie), I also love Pavlova; Australian (or New Zealander?, the argument  is an ongoing one on who actually can claim the title) famous Summer dessert.

I have made macarons way too many times and Pavlova quite a number of times but strangely enough, I have never made meringue. I mean pure meringue, little kisses kind of meringue just on its own. I was thinking about it and looking for the recipe few times but never feel motivated enough to make it. I think some recipes also make it too complicated as well and it was kind of put me off. For example, one of the recipes I came across suggested baking the meringue at really low temperature (around 100C – 120C) for hours and leaving them to dry for hours after that for the perfect crisp smooth texture.

My new baking book, Dan Lepard’s Exceptional Cake has a meringue recipe that intrigued me. It employed different technique with the meringue. Instead of gradually mixing sugar into the egg white (French way) or hot sugar syrup into egg white (Italian way), the recipe suggested dissolving sugar with egg whites in a bowl set over simmering water. It’s quite interesting technique. It’s probably not new or unique in anyway. I just never came across it. It’s sort of a cross between Italian and French meringue technique.

The technique delivered impressive glossy stiff whipped egg white.. It gave better structure and stiffer egg white than the French technique (though not as stiff and glossy as Italian’s) and was less complicated than the Italian technique, i.e. you don’t need to boil sugar syrup until it’s reaching soft ball stage and you don’t need thermometer to measure the syrup temperature. It also made me curious about using this meringue technique with macarons.

Dan Lepard’s original recipe includes flake almonds in the meringue which was omitted from my bake. I also adjusted the recipe a little by adding rosewater flavour and make the sizes smaller, much smaller. I find delicate rosewater (and floral flavour), go well with meringue.
The meringue was nice just on its own. It was a little sweet but it was good sugar fix with a bite or two. It also made fabulous dessert. I made them into rosewater-raspberry fool; crush meringue with whipped cream and raspberry coulis. It was an easy and heavenly dessert. Meringue can also be made in advance and is kept well for about a week or so, which makes them great choice for dinner party, less cooking to do on the day.

Rosewater Meringues Recipe

Make approx 40 meringues (depending on sizes)

115 g egg white (about 4 egg whites) 
225 g caster sugar (super fine sugar)
1 tablespoon rosewater essence
Few drops red colouring liquid (optional)

Preheat oven to 150c. Line two baking trays with non stick baking paper or mats.

Put the egg whites and sugar in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is quite warm to the touch.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whip the egg white mixture on high speed until it is thick, glossy, stiff peak (when it can hold its shape when lifted) and cool. It will take between 10 - 15 minutes.

Mix through the rosewater essence and coloring liquid using low-medium speed.

Fill the meringue mixture into piping bag fitted with star or 1-cm round nozzles.  Pipe about 2-cm kiss shapes onto baking trays.

Reduce oven temperature to 120C. Bake meringue for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues to cool completely in the oven before removing.

To make rosewater raspberry fool, roughly break meringues into pieces. Mix through raspberry coulis and whipped cream. 

Easy and heavenly dessert, Rosewater Raspberry Fool


  1. Hi Sue,

    how does rosewater taste like? I never tried it, it's the thing that those 'imam'(hahaha do you know them?) guys here wipe their hands with when they're leaving their camii's..haha you can make try it though, you made me like bulgur ;)


  2. Hi Ceren,

    The rosewater tastes really floral, very rose petally (like rose petal). It's delicate and perfumery.

    Really, you guys don't use rosewater in cooking. Its use is only in the mosque and something religious. I find that very interesting, because we have a popular dessert called Turkish Delight, it's sweet firm jelly flavoured with rosewater. I always thought rosewater is used a lot in Turkish and middle eastern cuisines.

    I just got a new bag of bulgur today too...


  3. Hi Sue,

    hahaha no no they use it a lot..espeially in something called güllaç, I'm just rejudiced about it because of the religious stuff, I don't believe in this bs going on in here :/

    Maybe I can try it with some other ingredient like say in make it more fusiony hehe


  4. Hi Ceren,

    Gullac, looks like baklava without filo pastry.

    Rosewater worked well with macarons, many of my testers love them. I once had rose ice cream and they were delicious as well:)


  5. I was just looking around your blog for a walnut bread recipe came here through Fresh Loaf...and noted the name Dan Lepard on here.

    The method of making meringue where you do it over simmering water is called the Swiss Meringue it's a stable way of making meringues resulting in a harder meringue and therefore lacking the finesse of French meringue since you're baking it twice as you do with the Italian meringue method.

    French, Italian & Swiss are the only 3 ways I know of of making meringues. :)

  6. Thank you azelia for solving the little mystery for me:)

    You're right. The meringue shell was not as delicate as the French's. I guess, it compensates for more stable, reliable and relatively straight forward method.

    I recently use the Swiss Meringue method (now that I know what it's called) for making buttercream for macarons. And totally love it, it's light and simple to do.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and your comment.