Forbidden Frutti di Bosco with Italian meringue
Sticky, chewy Italian meringue with spiced frutti di bosco and a sprinkling of cocoa powder and fresh mint with a Twintastico Twist!
- 225g/8oz caster sugar
- 100ml/3½fl oz water
- 4 eggs, whites only
- 100g/1 cup mixed berries
- 100g/½ cup superfine sugar
- Cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp peperoncino chilli flakes
- Fresh mint
For the Italian meringue, place the sugar and water into a pan and slowly bring to the boil until the syrup reaches 110C/230F on a sugar thermometer.
At this stage, whisk the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer until firm peaks form when the whisk is removed.
Continue heating the sugar syrup and as soon as it reaches 120C/250F remove the pan from the heat.
Immediately resume whisking the egg whites with the beater at its lowest speed then pour in the sugar syrup in a steady stream. (CAUTION: Ensure the syrup is clear of the beaters to prevent it being splashed on your hands.)
Continue beating for about five minutes or until the meringue is tepid.
Italian meringue takes a little effort to make. It can be used for smooth buttercream icing and crisp but chewy meringue nests. You will need a sugar thermometer.
Using an electric hand mixer, begin by beating four egg whites until they form stiff peaks. They should stand up straight when the whisk is removed.
Next make a sugar syrup by mixing 225g/8oz of sugar with six tablespoons of water. Stir the sugar and water together over a medium heat. Dip a pastry brush in water and brush any bits of sugar from the sides of the pan down into the syrup to melt, otherwise it will turn the sugar syrup grainy. When all of the sugar is dissolved, bring it to a fast boil until it reaches 120C/250F.
As soon as the syrup reaches the correct temperature, pour it onto the egg whites in a thin, steady stream as you whisk. Be careful not to pour the hot syrup directly onto the beaters, as it may stick to them or splash back at you.
When all the syrup has been mixed, continue to whisk the meringue until it has cooled. It should be shiny and stiff. Allow to cool completely before using.
Pipe 1-inch drops onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing about 3/4 inch apart. Bake until hard to the touch but not browned around 45–50 minutes or until they will lift off the parchment cleanly and have completely dried out. Transfer meringues to wire racks; let cool completely.
For the Frutti di Bosco
Add the mixed berries and sugar to a pan and bring to the boil for around 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon and peperoncino chilli flakes and mixed well. Leave to cool.
Place the meringue on a plate and sprinkle the cocoa powder over the top. Then add the fruity di tosco around the plate and some sprigs of mint.