The roses in our garden have been the main attraction these days. They are so beautiful and smell like heaven – we have many different types with inviting names like Pierre de Ronsart, magical moment, Sombreuil and Félicité. In Rome a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret matters were discussed. The phrase ‘sub rosa’, means to keep a secret — derived from this ancient Roman practice.
Meringues are so beautiful to make from the beginning till the end – there are so many endless flavours you can add. Inspired by our garden roses (organic of course), I made some candied rose petals, pink rose flavored meringues with a rose cream and strawberries. I serve these little treats with tea from Ladurée called Marie-Antoinette, a blend of China black tea, citrus notes, rose and jasmine. It was only fitting to call these meringues Marie-Antoinette’s secrets.
6 egg whites
300 grs caster sugar
1 tsp red food coloring
2 tbsp rose-water
25 cl whipping cream
Candied rose petals:
1 egg white
25 organic rose petals
35 grs white sugar
Candied rose petals:
Clean delicately the rose petals, and brush each petal gently with the frothy egg white. Sprinkle petals with white sugar and dry on a small wire rack or parchment paper covered plate for half a day, or even overnight.
Pre-heat your oven 140° celsius.
Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to appear, then you can start adding the sugar gradually, spoon by spoon, and the food coloring and 1 tbsp rose-water until the whites become glossy then stiff – this should take approx. 10-12 minutes. I use an electric whisk.
On a parchment line baking tray, form 26 little meringues. I use a pastry bag with a medium tip. Bake for 30-35 minutes. I always like my meringues to be slightly softer inside. When ready, open oven, switch off the heat, and leave to cool in the oven for 10 minutes, then place on a wire rack and leave to cool.
To make the rose whipped cream, whisk the cream until it starts to stiffen, add the rose-water and 25 grs sugar. Whisk again until it becomes fluffy and stiff.
Slice the strawberries. Set aside.
Make meringue ‘sandwiches’ – take two meringues place whipped rose cream, add sliced strawberries and place the other meringue on top. Repeat procedure for all the meringues.