So here's the final installment in the Pudding Club series and I can now reveal that the dessert that I've placed at the top of the pile is the simply fabulous Rhubarb Marshmallow Meringue Roulade. This recipe comes from Jo Pratt's book, In the Mood for Entertaining: Food for Every Occasion and was just as delicious as it sounds. The meringue was perfectly soft and marshmallowy, just as the title suggests, with just a whiff of crunch on the outside and the rhubarb and cream filling was heavenly. To top it all off, this was probably the easiest of the puddings to make. The meringue and the rhubarb can be prepared several hours in advance so all you need to do at the last minute is whip up the cream, fold in the rhubarb and assemble the roulade. I was a bit concerned that the meringue might be tricky to roll up but it was breeze.
This is a pudding to be eaten as soon as it's assembled if possible and it makes just about the right amount for six people (assuming you're not expecting them to get through three more puddings afterwards!). The leftovers the next day were more than edible but I wouldn't have wanted to keep it any longer than that.
All in all, this pudding was voted a winner by most of the people who tried it and there's no doubt I'll be making it again.
Rhubarb Marshmallow Meringue Roulade
(adapted from In the Mood for Entertaining by Jo Pratt)
for the meringue
4 large egg whites
175g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sifted icing sugar, for dusting
for the filling
400g trimmed rhubarb
50g caster sugar
200ml double cream
1/2 teaspoon rose water (I didn't have any so left it out)
1) Line a baking tray measuring approximately 35cm x 25cm x 2cm deep with non-stick parchment paper and lightly oil. Preheat the oven to 160c/fan140/gas mark 3.
2) To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks then add half the caster sugar and continue to whisk for a couple of minutes. Mix the cornflour with the remaining sugar and add to the egg whites with the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Whisk until you have a firm, glossy consistency, a bit like shaving foam. This will take a good few minutes. Spoon and spread into the prepared baking tray. Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
3) In the meantime, cut the rhubarb into 3-4cm lengths and place in a saucepan with the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning a couple of times with a metal spoon and trying not to let all of the pieces become too mushy.
4) Remove the cooked meringue from the oven and leave to cook in the tin for a few minutes, then carefully turn out on to a piece of baking paper heavily dusted with the icing sugar. Cool completely.
5) Whip the cream with the rose water (if using) until it forms soft peaks. Fold in the rhubarb and then spread over the meringue, leaving a border of about 2cm. Carefully and loosely roll the meringue lengthways into a fat cylinder shape. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.