So it perhaps isn't too surprising to hear that as I flipped through my [February?] issue of Martha Stewart Living, and thumbed past this; my thumb basically screeched to a stop in its tracks. The first chance I had, I made it. And yes - it was February and I bought raspberries. Lots of raspberries. I think I spent $10 or more on 2 small boxes of raspberries. But anything for a fantastic new meringue dessert!
It's rather time consuming yet not overly difficult. But the time consuming factor was not great enough for me to only make it once. In fact, I've made these a couple times since February. Most recently of course, at the bridal shower. Each time to RAVE, RAVE reviews. I mean people almost die when they take their first bite. The combination of flavors is UHMAZING.
This is how it goes...
- A "cupcake" made completely of sweet, soft meringue (yes it's solid meringue)
- Spoonfuls of raspberry curd in and around the cupcake
- A dollop of sweetened and whipped creme fraiche
- Sprinkle with a few fresh raspberries
Each element can be made on its own: the meringue, the raspberry curd and one time I even made my own creme fraiche! It's so easy as long as you know you need it at least a couple days in advance!
Ok and secretly - if you don't have time to make the meringue cupcakes... AT LEAST make the raspberry curd. After tasting it, I thought I'd died and floated up into the cumuli. I could drink that stuff. Or spread it on... anything.
The only aspect of the recipe I might change (though I have not tested this yet) is spraying the cupcake wrappers with non-stick spray. If the non-stick spray pools in any way in the bottom of the wrapper it puts a hole in the bottom of the cupcake and makes it extremely fragile. The next time I make these I'm not going to spray them and see if I can still get them out of the wrappers without breaking. It's also important to note that a regular ole serrated knife will not cut these babies in half without causing it to crumble in your hands. No joke - you MUST use a pumpkin carving knife. Like this one:
Perhaps a fingernail file would work if you don't just happen to have one of these in your drawer in the middle of February or May, like I did.
Since mixing the meringue takes at least half an hour (LISTEN to the recipe where it says to add the sugar 1-2 T at a time and then beat for a minute - if you don't, the sugar will not dissolve and it will never be meringue) and baking these takes about 4 hours and you can't really fit more than 12 in the oven at once (unless your oven is AWESOME and HUGE) and many will break and crack as you peel the wrapper off and cut them in half... I would strongly recommend you NOT make 45 like I did for the shower. You can do the math - but it took me ALL day...
Mix each 1-2 T of sugar into the meringue and wait 1 minute before adding the next
Learn from my mistake and DO NOT rush this :)
Plating is also somewhat tedious since they should be assembled just before serving and plating each takes a bit of hand flourish. BUT: it is all worth it when your guest's jaw falls onto the placemat.
If this isn't girlie and perfect for a shower, what is?
Meringue Freak like I? Got a day (or at least quite a few hours)? MAKE THESE. Oh God, make these. You will thank me later. But until then, you're welcome.