Who loves a Toffee Pecan Meringue Roulade at Christmas?
This is the perfect dessert to make ahead and store in the freezer. Just right for whipping out, defrosting and serving up in a flash.
5 egg whites, large
2 tsps cornflour
225g light muscovado sugar
40g pecans, chopped
250ml double cream
2 tbsps icing sugar
½ tin of Carnation Caramel
Icing sugar to dust.
Preheat the oven to 130c(fan)/150c/Gas Mark 2.
Begin the egg whites in a scrupulously clean bowl and add the cornflour. The cornflour helps to stabilise the meringue so that it can hold up to folding in the pecans later.
Place the light muscovado sugar in a bowl and work it through your fingers to separate any clumps and lumps so that it can easily be incorporated into the meringue.
Prepare your tin – a baking tray with shallow sides (approx. 25 x 36cm) and line it with baking paper. Greasing the tray first will help the paper stay exactly where you want it.
Begin to whisk the egg whites until they start to look foamy. Then whilst continually whisking add the brown sugar 1 spoonful at a time until it’s all worked in.
Keep whisking until the meringue is nice and firm, so the bowl could be held over your head without dropping out!
Chop the pecans, fairly finely and add them to the meringue. Fold them in gently until they are just worked through.
Transfer the meringue to the lined tray and spread it out gently using a palette knife or spatula – try to get it as even as you can and make sure it reaches all of the corners.
Bake it in the oven for 1 hour – 1 hour 30 minutes. You need to keep an eye on it – you’re looking for the top to have a crust and not be sticky to the touch but the underneath should still be fairly mallowy. Depending on how much oil the pecans release and how much heat is coming from the top of your oven can affect how long it takes the top surface to bake through.
Now take it out of the oven and leave it in the tin to cool completely.
Whip the double cream with 2 tbsps icing sugar until it is as soft peak stage. Place the caramel in a bowl and beat it with a spatula to loosen.
Now set out a large piece of baking paper on your worksurface and dust it liberally with icing sugar.
Flip the cooled meringue sheet onto the paper and carefully release the paper around the edges before peeling it away completely.
Spread the surface with the caramel followed by the whipped cream.
With a sharp knife cut through the meringue 2cm in from one end, all the way along.
Fold this piece directly over onto the rest of the meringue.
Take the edge of the paper on the worksurface and lift it to start to roll your roulade. Keep rolling until you get to the end.
Turn the roulade so that the seam sits underneath.
If you’re making this for the freezer wrap it straight away in a roll of baking paper, followed by a good wrap with clingfilm or foil and freeze straight away. Unwrap and place on a serving plate whilst still frozen and then allow to defrost before serving. It can also be sliced super neatly whilst it’s still frozen with a sharp serrated bread knife.
One of the reasons for using a tin of ready made caramel is the freeze factor. Homemade caramel can (and frequently does) separate on freezing and defrosting. The ready made stuff is much more stable and comes out just as it went in!
Dust your roulade with a good snow of icing sugar and serve.
Toffee Pecan Roulade
Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire