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What Is a Meringue Roulade?

By Mark Wollacott
Updated May 16, 2024
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Meringue roulade is a dessert that consists of rolled egg white meringues mixed with cream and a fruit filling. It is quite a light dessert and is usually eaten in the summer. The meringue roulade might also just contain sponge cake or cake baked in a flat pan rolled around the sugary whipped egg whites and cream. Fruit fillings include strawberries, raspberries, lemon curd and mangoes. It looks and tastes much like a rolled-up version of a Pavlova.

The basic roulade contains only the whipped egg white that has been mixed together with icing sugar. Vanilla extract is often put in it, too, to add extra flavor. The filling of the cake contains high-quality protein from the egg white and carbohydrates from the sugar. The fruits, especially if fresh, will add extra nutrition as well as flavor.

In order to be a roulade, the meringue roulade needs to be rolled. In British English, this means making the meringue-cream-fruit combination like a Swiss roll. Typically, this involves having a bottom layer of meringue, then cream and finally fruit laid out on a cloth. The meringue roulade is then rolled slowly in the same way a carpet is rolled to produce the final roulade. This often ends up with the brittle meringue cracking as it bends.

There are a lot of types of this dessert. One of the most common is to combine the basic roulade with fruit. These fruits include raspberries, strawberries and passion fruit. This way, the filling doesn’t only contain the egg white and sugar, but fruit, too. The actual slices or chunks of fruit can also be complemented with a matching fruit sauce. These meringue roulades can also combine a number of fruits rather than just the one type.

Another variation is the meringue roulade with toasted almonds. The one difference with the normal meringue roulade is that the almonds get baked along with the meringues; otherwise it’s the same as the original. Another variation is to use chocolate and marshmallows. Alternatively, cooks can line the cream with lemon curd like a rolled-up lemon meringue pie.

The meringue can be traced back to the 17th century, when it was commonly called “white biskit bread." There are three basic types of meringue that can be used in a meringue roulade. These are the classic French type with icing sugar and egg whites, the Italian type and the Swiss type. The Italian meringue uses boiling sugar syrup instead of icing sugar. The Swiss type is whisked over a gentle water heater called a brain-marie and then baked.

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