Everybody needs a sweet treat on their birthday.. but who's to say it has to be cake?
It was my other halves birthday today and I wanted to whip up some treats for the evening when he got home from work. I love to bake but fancied something a little different from the conventional birthday cake.. and something gluten free so I could snaffle some too. Meringues are a perfect gluten free alternative to cake, so I decided to whip these babies up!
These sweet raspberry and passion fruit rippled meringues are delicious alone or even better when accompanied with fresh whipped cream and tart berries..
200g caster sugar
4 egg whites
1 punnet of raspberries or a handful of frozen ones.
Preheat your oven to 110C.
Warm up a handful of fresh or frozen raspberries in a saucepan and add sugar to taste. Once they are soft, bring away from heat and leave to cool.
Slice the passionfruit in half and scoop out the insides into a bowl.
Pour the egg whites into a metal or glass mixing bowl. You need to whisk these by hand or with a mixer until you get a foamy consistency and then begin to add the sugar, spoon by spoon and ensure it is all well whisked in between. The meringue mixture should start to become glossy and firm and hold soft peaks when you lift the whisk out. Once it reaches this stage you can begin to spoon it onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Don't worry if the mixture doesn't turn out perfectly. It took me two attempts to get the mixture right and they still ended up flatter than hoped for.. but as meringues are more of a technical bake, they take a few attempts to perfect; in future I expect they will be far superior to these. (They just tasted SO good that although they weren't as aesthetically pleasing as they could be, I just had to share the recipe with you!)
Once I had four large dollops on the tray I simply swirled some of the raspberry puree through the top of two of the meringues. With the remaining two I swirled the passionfruit through the top. You could use most berries or soft fruit if you puree it first so feel free to experiment. The tangy fruit puree on top really compliments the sweet meringue.. it's a match made in heaven!
You should bake the meringues in the oven for around 1 1/2 hours or until they become a very very pale brown and can be lifted off of the tray without sticking. Don't worry if they are still slightly soft in the centre; this will just ensure a sticky, chewy middle once cooled!
You can keep these beauties for at least a few days in an airtight container. They're a perfect gift simply wrapped in cellophane and tied with some cute pastel ribbon. I wrapped the additional gifts with brown paper and pastel blue raffia, I love making presents look pretty; brown paper is a favourite of mine and always looks gorgeous and classic when paired with a coloured ribbon or bow!
As always, thank you for reading! Please like and share if you enjoyed this post, don't forget to comment below and let me know what your favourite birthday cake or treat is.