mini meringues with strawberries passionfruit & cream

22nd April 2012

This post was written way back this exact time last year and sat in my drafts waiting patiently to be posted.  And finally a year later, another Spring and with all the family once again here, I ask myself, where did that time go?

Spring is here.

The doors and windows are wide open and the scent of jasmine fills the house.  The jasmine vine is in full flower, so delicate and fragile and pure, these flowers are white gems. I have planted so much of it, all different types and the garden and house is filled with the intoxicating glorious scent.  Just the enchanting scent refreshes the heart and soul, while at the same time leaves you with a feeling of softness and calmness.

Its smell takes me back to India, where the tradition is centred around the act of giving and these aromatic jasmine garlands.  The garlands are seen everywhere strung around rickshaw lights, doorways, in the women’s hair, and are sold by men pushing or riding bicycles.  There are big baskets filled high with jasmine flowers in the market where the Indian women in their beautiful sari sit quietly and weave simple or elaborate garlands to sell.  They are used as daily offerings in temples, and they adorn the images of Indian deities.

This is the month my daughter, Yasmin was born.  ‘Yasmin’ – my fragrant flower.  Jasmine flowers and fresh strawberries I associate with March, and her birthday cake is always lavishly decorated with both.  It finds its way into our hair and in vases throughout the house.  We make garlands and sprinkle our bath with these flowers.

Last year, my daughter had just turned 12, and each year we have a ritual of making her favourite two birthday cakes.  I can’t remember how it came about that it was to be two birthday cakes. Maybe because they are so equally delicious that we could never decide on just one, or which one. Each year we make the chocolate roulade and these meringues, which we pile high with whipped cream, strawberries and a passionfruit sauce.  So light and full of texture.   And oh so good!!!

Turning 12 is a very special juncture in the Jewish tradition for a girl, or 13 for a boy, moving from childhood to adulthood.  As my teacher wrote in his blessing for her, “It is a year where the journey of Realisation of Truth starts.”   With the help of Anna and Leon, we created a blessing book for Yasmin where all her family and friends wrote a heartfelt blessing to guide her later in life.  And as part of my blessing, I put in this meringue recipe as it is associated with her and her birthday.  We make them together working side by side in the kitchen.  Mother and daughter.

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Depending on the occasion, I sometimes make these individually, or one big, round meringue which is filled and cut as if it were a cake.

With all meringues, the success depends on room temperature eggs and very clean, grease-free utensils.

mini meringues

Makes 18 mini meringues


4 large eggs – room temperature

1 cup fine sugar

1 tsp white vinegar

½ Tbsp cornstarch

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 punnet whipping cream

extra ½ tsp vanilla extract

fresh strawberries (raspberries, or in Summer – mangos)

8 passion fruits


1.  Preheat the oven to 150C/ 275F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2.  In a clean, medium-sized metal bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed – until the egg whites form soft peaks.

3.  Gently sprinkle the sugar into the egg whites, a tablespoon at a time.  Your egg whites should now be glossy and form stiff peaks.

4.  Add the cornstarch and vinegar, and fold gently with a plastic spatula.

5.  Add vanilla, and gently fold the mixture again.

6.  Now, gently spread the meringue in 3-inch circles on the lined baking sheet.  Make sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the centre so you have a very slight well in the middle.  The edges should be 1.5-inches tall.

7.  Bake the meringues for about 50 – 60 minutes.  They should be crispy on the outside with a slightly chewy, marshmallow centre.

8.  Turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar to let the meringues cool completely. As they cool, they will crack slightly, which gives them the perfect hole to put the whipped cream in.

9.  Just before serving, take the meringues out of the oven.  Remove them gently from the baking sheet and place on plates.

10.  Whip the cream, with the extra vanilla extract until it forms stiff peaks and prepare the fruit by washing and slicing.  Scoop out the pulp of the passionfruit and place in a serving jug.  Fill with cream, dollop with strawberries and drizzle with the passionfruit sauce.

Goodness shared from Stacey

strawberry jam

8th May 2011


Someone had left a big bucket of beautiful, very ripe strawberries in my kitchen while I was out on my afternoon walk.  I am sure I will find out who it was over the next few days.  Living in a Moshav and having a very open house allows neighbours, friends and children to wander in and out as they please. They look like they were picked fresh from the fields which are nearby.  We are spoilt with our strawberries this time of year, being able to buy them freshly picked from the fields, if the time it right.  These were perfectly ripe for making strawberry jam.

This recipe is based on Anna’s recipe and it makes about 6 medium jars which I freeze as I need them.  What I love most about this recipe is that it allows for the sweetness of the strawberries to come through without being overpowered by the sugar.  Because of the less sugar, it is a little on the watery side and I do end up scooping it out with a spoon onto my bread.  The taste is sensationally strawberry-sweet!

I have grown them in the garden a few times, but the ruby-red, ripening fruit would lure in my three peacocks, and they would always find them before I did.  Now I have replanted them in a sunny corner in the garden, just outside my kitchen window, so I can enjoy watching our peacocks find them as a surprise treat.



strawberry jam

For jam making I prefer the smaller strawberries, they have much less water content.  If using the larger ones buy them very ripe.  This is a very easy recipe that requires no chopping.

Makes 6 – 7 jars


2 kg small strawberries, rinsed and topped

700g light brown sugar


1.  Place the strawberries in a wide, deep saucepan and sprinkle over the sugar, allow them to sit overnight, so all the juices can be drawn out of the strawberries.

2.  The next morning, bring to boil and boil rapidly for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to settle for 30 minutes, then using a potato masher and roughly break up the strawberries.

3.  Scoop up all this red goodness into sterilised glass jars.  Because of the low sugar content, this jam needs to be refrigerated.  Close your eyes and enjoy the lingering smell that fills the kitchen, just for a moment or two.


Goodness shared by Stacey

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