What are SA’s top pastry chefs making the first lady in their lives (aka Mom) for Mother’s Day? Meet Megan Meikle

Meet Megan Meikle, Pastry Chef at Grei at the Saxon

What is she whipping up for Mother’s Day?

“I decided to bring my mother’s love for Pavlova and tiramisù together to create what I have decided to call a ‘tiramisù meringue puff’. Tiramisù, meaning ‘pick me up’ in Italian, is an apt and decadent dessert to not only ring in the colder winter months, but also to celebrate a mom who does a stellar ‘pick me up’ job whenever I need her.”

Watch the step-by-step video for inspiration below and find the full recipe below:

TIRAMISÙ MERINGUE PUFF

Serves 6 A LITTLE EFFORT 4 hrs 15 mins

WHAT YOU NEED

MERINGUE SHELLS

The meringues can be made up to 2 days in advance. To prolong their shelf life, store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If you prefer to make plain meringues, simply omit the chocolate and continue as per the recipe

100g dark chocolate

3 egg whites

1 tsp vinegar

100g castor sugar

100g icing sugar

KAHLÚA JELLY

Be careful not to add too much liquor to the jelly mixture, as too much alcohol prohibits gelatine’s setting ability

80ml espresso

125ml (½ cup) water

100g castor sugar

2 tbsp Kahlúa liquor

10g (4) gelatine leaves

CHOCOLATE SPONGE CAKE

2 large eggs

90g castor sugar

3 tbsp canola oil

60ml (¼ cup) boiling water

1 tsp vinegar

3 tbsp cocoa powder + extra, to dust

65g cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

MASCARPONE CREAM

125ml (½ cup) fresh cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

60g mascarpone

SOAKING LIQUOR

This soaking liquor is as important as it is delicious because it introduces the strong coffee flavour that is 

synonymous with tiramisù

80ml espresso

80ml Kahlúa liquor

HOW TO DO IT

1 For the meringue shells, preheat the oven to 110°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

2 Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Once fully melted, set the chocolate aside to cool.

3 Place the egg whites, 1 tsp vinegar and 100g castor sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until white, glossy and at stiff-peak stage. Ensure the bowl is scrupulously clean and dry or the egg whites won’t reach full volume. Add the 100g icing sugar and slowly whisk in.

4 Pour the melted chocolate on top of the meringue and fold through the meringue to create a marbled effect.

5 Spoon 6 large dollops of meringue onto an oven tray lined with baking paper, spacing the dollops about 2cm apart. Place in the preheated oven to bake for 30 minutes.

6 Remove the meringue puffs from the oven, scoop out the centres from the bottom of the meringues and return to the oven to bake for a further 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside in a cool, dry place until needed.

7 For the Kahlúa jelly, place the gelatine leaves in just enough ice water to cover them and set aside to soak.

8 Place the 80ml espresso, 125ml (½ cup) water, 100g castor sugar and 2 tbsp Kahlúa in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from heat.

9 Take the gelatine leaves out of the ice water, squeeze to remove excess water and place the

gelatine in the still-hot espresso mixture, stirring to ensure the gelatine is fully melted. Transfer to a bowl.

10 Place the bowl of jelly in the fridge to firm up and set, at least 1 hour. Once set, cut up the jellies into bite-size pieces.

11 For the sponge cake, preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a baking dish of 20 x 10cm or 18cm diameter with cooking spray and lined with baking paper.

12 Place the eggs and 90g castor sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on high speed until the eggs

have doubled in volume, and are light and fluffy.

13 Reduce the speed to slow, and begin adding the wet ingredients to the egg mixture. Start with the canola oil, followed by the boiling water and the 1 tsp vinegar. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and sieve in the 3 tbsp cocoa powder, along with the remaining dry ingredients. Carefully fold in using a whisk. Ensure you don’t overmix the batter while properly incorporating the dry ingredients.

14 Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and place in the preheated oven to bake until cooked all the way through and a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool in the tin.

15 For the mascarpone cream, whisk the 125ml (½ cup) cream to medium-peak stage in the bowl of an electric hand-held/stand mixer.

16 Add the 1 tsp vanilla and the salt and mix to incorporate.

17 Add the mascarpone and carefully fold it through the cream – ensure you don’t overmix as mascarpone has a tendency to split easily.

18 Transfer the mixture to a piping bag or place in a bowl covered with cling film. Refrigerate until needed.

19 For the soaking liquor, mix the espresso and the 80ml Kahlúa together.Pour all over the cooled chocolate sponge cake in the tin and allow to soak through, about 10 minutes. Cut the sponge cake into bite-size pieces

20 To assemble, hold a meringue shell in the palm of your hand and begin filling the shell with the various elements. Begin with the mascarpone cream, followed by the Kahlúa jelly and, lastly, the soaked chocolate sponge cake pieces. Invert onto a serving plate. Repeat these steps with all the meringue shells, then dust each tiramisu meringue puff with the extra cocoa powder and serve – tell your guests to use the back of a dessertspoon to shatter the meringue shells and reveal the surprise filling!

COOK’S TIPS

By paying close attention to the amount of sugar used in each element of a dish, well-balanced desserts are created. The components for this dish can all be made in advance. Only assemble the dessert when you are ready to eat it, as too much standing time will cause the meringues to get soggy and lose their crispness.

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