If you're looking for an especially tasty ending to a meal that is also easy to make, this is it. The only thing you need to do is plan ahead since the meringue must be mixed and baked at least one day prior to serving.
I have made this dessert two different ways in the past week. The first was to pipe the meringue into little straight-sided shells that were filled with the mascarpone-whipped cream mixture and the second, what you see above and oh-so-easy -- discs of meringue that were baked and then broken into pieces. The mascarpone cream was folded into the meringue shards and topped with fresh raspberries. The only caveat with this preparation is, wait to fold the mascarpone cream into the meringue as close to serving-time as possible. Over time the meringue will soak up the moisture from the cream and will lose some of its crispiness. It would still be tasty, but what you want is the contrast of textures. The best way to serve this dessert? Put the bowl of Meringue and Mascarpone with Berries in the center of the table with a big spoon. That way you will not need to run back to the kitchen for seconds. Trust me on this.... there will be seconds.
Meringue with Mascarpone Cream And Berries
• Mascarpone Cream with Bittersweet Chocolate
• Fresh Raspberries
FOR THE MERINGUES:
• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• six large egg whites, room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1. Preheat the oven to 200˚F. Position oven racks in the lower third and top third of the oven.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, slowly whip the egg whites until frothy. Add the Cream of Tartar and continue to beat until you get soft peaks when you lift the beaters out of the whites. At this point, beating slowly, start adding the sugar-cornstarch mixture one tablespoon at a time, until all of the sugar has been added. Continue to whip at high speed, at least 4 minutes and until the eggs whites are very thick and glossy.
4. At this point you can either put the meringue into a large pastry bag with a 1/2-inch star tip and pipe out little shells that can be filled, or as I did above, pipe 3 to 4-inch discs onto parchment-lined baking sheets. (Secure the parchment to the baking sheets before piping by putting a dot of meringue on the underside of the paper at each of the four corners. This will keep the parchment paper from moving around.) If you do not have a pastry bag and tip you can also spoon the meringue onto the parchment paper, spreading meringue into 3 to 4-inch discs.
5. Bake the meringues for 3 hours, turn off the oven and leave the meringues the oven overnight. Do not open the oven door during this time.
FOR THE MASCARPONE CREAM:
• 1 3/4 cups chilled heavy cream
• 4 ounces Mascarpone
• 1/4 cup powdered sugar
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated bittersweet chocolate
In the bowl of an electric mixer whip the heavy cream until it starts to thicken. Add the Mascarpone and continue to whip, slowly adding the powdered sugar. Beat until thick but not stiff. Fold in most of the bittersweet chocolate, reserving some of the chocolate for sprinkling after the mascarpone cream has been folded into the meringues.
Break the meringues into pieces and place in a large bowl. Right before serving, gently and thoroughly fold the Mascarpone Cream into the meringue pieces; top with fresh raspberries and sprinkle with additional grated bittersweet chocolate. Serve, keeping the bowl nearby for second-helpings.