I've never liked meringue. In fairness, it isn't meringue's fault, it's mine. I think I've only ever had commercial meringue, and just like people who claim they don't like Champagne when they've only drunk it at weddings- I don't think that entitles me to an opinion.
Commercial meringue is horrible. Though it should be a balance of crunchy and chewy, shop bought meringue is always hard and brittle, with no soft texture and too much sugar.
So I made my own! I've been tempted to do this for a while and started to research. I was surprised to discover how versatile it can be. Though tempted by a chocolate chestnut meringue tower, I opted to start with a lighter, more summery version.
This is what we did;
Break two eggs and separate the whites from the yolk. In a bowl, whisk the whites until forming stiff peaks. When they are firm, add in 4oz of caster sugar, two ounces at a time, and beat in. Don't beat too much, or it will collapse.
Scoop into a piping bag and pipe four circles onto baking paper, circling the edges to make a nest shape. Pipe four more flat circles of a similar size.
Preheat the oven at 150 degrees, and then bake in the oven, reducing the temperature to 100 degrees for an hour. Switch the oven off and leave it in the oven to dry out.
Chop a handful of strawberries into small chunks. Spoon some creme fraiche into the meringue nests and top with the small strawberry pieces. Drizzle with raspberry coulis. Place the meringue 'lid' onto the strawberries and then top with some larger slices of strawberry. Drizzle generously with more coulis and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Very pretty, very lovely. A perfect summer dinner party and BBQ sweet!