This dessert takes me back to the 90’s. Don’t ask me why we call it “kardinalios” (cardinal). I have researched the name but found nothing. If you know please email me! This amazing dessert is basically a soft meringue, filled with cream and berries. It’s like a deliciously light cloud of sweetness.
I know it looks complicated but it’s not. All you need is a mixer unless you can whip up a stiff meringue with a hand whisk (you can’t, sorry ). The meringue is then spread on a baking sheet and baked only for half an hour. It will be golden on the outside and soft and dreamy on the inside.
The filling is cream and fruit. I mixed mascarpone with my whipped cream because I LOVE it and I think it just makes any whipped cream frosting or filling better. Choose any fruit you like. Strawberries are great but a combination of peaches and grapes or cherries are also fantastic options.
Some pastry shops use chocolate whipped cream for the filling but I haven’t gone down that road yet. I like the airy lightness of this dessert and I think chocolate might make it too rich. I chose to roll up the meringue and present this as a roulade. You can take an easier road and cut the sponge into thirds and sandwich the layers with the cream and fruit. Whatever you do it will be lovely and out of this world delicious.
- 230 grams granulated sugar
- 80 grams soft brown sugar
- 10 grams corn flour
- 200 grams egg whites
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 50 grams almonds, roughly chopped
- About 50 grams icing sugar
For the filling:
- 400 grams fresh strawberries, halved and some left whole for decorating
- 250 grams mascarpone
- 240 grams whipping cream (36% fat solids)
- 80 grams icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 175 C fan. Line with greaseproof paper, the base and sides of a shallow rectangular pan (mine is 39 x 28 cm but a standard 39 x 33 oven pan or a one-use aluminum pan, roughly the same size is fine to use). Don’t bother sticking down the paper. You can use dollops of the meringue as glue later.
In a bowl of a food-processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the granulated sugar, the brown sugar and the corn flour until the sugars are fine, free of brown-sugar lumps and blended together.
In a sparkling clean mixer bowl beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the sugar, one table spoon at a time until fully incorporated. Keep beating until stiff peeks form. Add the vinegar and vanilla. Keep beating until meringue is very stiff and glossy.
Transfer the meringue in the pan but first, keep the greaseproof paper in place by using small dollops of the meringue at the four corners of the pan. Spread meringue evenly with a spatula.
Sprinkle with the almonds.
Bake meringue for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 140 C and bake for 20-25 minutes longer. Meringue will puff up, it will become golden, dry on the outside and soft inside.
As soon as the meringue comes out of the oven dust the surface with icing sugar.
Cover with a large piece of greaseproof paper and place a tray or a wire rack on top. Flip the pan.
Remove the baking pan but leave the greaseproof paper. Let the meringue cool like that to room temperature.
Make the filling by beating together the mascarpone, whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla until soft peeks form. Don’t overbeat. You don’t want a grainy filling.
To assemble the dessert, first peel off the greaseproof paper from the meringue and discard.
Place the meringue with the shorter side towards you. Use a knife to make a shallow cut (don’t cut all the way through!) about 2 cm from the edge of the meringue. This will help you roll it (learned this trick from Merry Berry).
Spread the surface of the meringue with about 2/3 of the mascarpone cream, leaving 2 cm from top and bottom empty.
Slice the strawberries in half and scatter them on top of the cream.
With the help of the greaseproof paper, start rolling the meringue. The meringue may crack in places but that’s part of its beauty.
Transfer meringue on a serving platter. Spread the top with the remaining cream and decorate with the whole strawberries. Dust with icing sugar.
You can serve this dessert right away or let it cool in the fridge for a couple of hours first. You can also make it one day in advance. Keep refrigerated.