His gorgeously glossy cookbooks have coffee table status in our homes, and squeezing in an afternoon at one of his London-based restaurants is what our British dreams are made of. From his namesake cookbook Ottolenghi to the fascinating Jerusalem, from his veg-tastic hit Plenty, to his followup, Plenty More, no homecook can seem to get enough of Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s creative style with delicious whole foods. His most recent cookbook, Plenty More explores a wide scope of vegetarian foods with an original approach that’ll leave you drooling. This fig and goat cheese tart is all the proof you need.
This stunning meringue dessert recipe should be the centerpiece of whatever you’re planning for the weekend of Valentine’s Day. Just add flutes of biodynamic champagne or a pot of shade-grown coffee…
Meringue Roulade With Rose Petals And Fresh Raspberries
For the meringue:
4 large egg whites
1¼ cups superfine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch
For the cream:
3½ oz mascarpone
1 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1½ Tbsp rose water
1¾ cups heavy cream
For the roulade:
1¼ cups fresh raspberries
2 Tbsp dried rose petals
1 tsp slivered pistachios (or regular, if unavailable, crushed)
confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Line the base and sides of a 13 by 9-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Allow the paper to rise about ⅜ inch above the sides of the pan.
To make the meringue, in a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they begin to firm up. Add the superfine sugar to the whites in spoonfuls or tip into the bowl in a slow stream. Continue beating until a firm, glossy meringue forms. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in the vanilla, vinegar, and cornstarch. Spread the mixture inside the prepared pan and level with an offset spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, until a crust forms and the meringue is cooked through (it will still feel soft to the touch). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan. Unmold the cooled meringue onto a fresh piece of parchment paper. Carefully peel off the lining paper.
Meanwhile, make the cream. Place the mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, and rose water in a large bowl and whisk by hand until smooth. Add the cream and whisk for about 4 minutes, until the cream just holds its shape. (You can do this in an electric mixer but keep a close eye on it as it’s easy to overmix.)
Spread most of the mascarpone cream over the original underside of the meringue, reserving a few tablespoons. Leave a small border around the edge of the meringue. Scatter most of the raspberries and 1½ tablespoons of rose petals evenly over the cream.
Using the paper to assist you and starting from a long edge, roll up the meringue into a perfect log shape. Carefully transfer the log onto a serving dish. Use the remaining cream to create a rough wavy strip along the top of the log (see photo). Chill for at least 30 minutes.
When ready to serve, dust the log with confectioners’ sugar, dot with the remaining raspberries, and scatter the remaining rose petals and pistachios evenly over the top.