Ravinder Bhogal is the chef patron of the much-lauded Jikoni restaurant in Mayfair. Her new cookbook Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen is full of the inventive, border-blending dishes that have become her signature. Ravinder has very kindly shared this recipe with us and if it tickles your tastebuds, you can read our interview with her here.
Meringue is the miracle that comes from whisking egg whites with sugar. I like it as a pavlova or broken up in an Eton mess, but a meringue roulade is my favourite showstopper. You can change the fruit filling according to the seasons – try strawberries with lemon verbena, rhubarb with rose, cooked apples with brandy crème pâtissière and toasted oats and nuts. This summer version celebrates the honeyed ripeness of peaches, nectarines and apricots.
80g crème fraîche
150ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp orange blossom water
A few basil or mint leaves, torn
For the poached fruit
350ml Sauternes or similar dessert wine
100g caster sugar
150g apricots, stoned and cut into 4 wedges
150g peaches, stoned and cut into 6 wedges
150g nectarines, stoned and cut into 6 wedges
For the pistachio sugar
100g shelled pistachios
50g icing sugar
For the meringue
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp cornflour, sifted
For the poached fruit, bring the wine and sugar to the boil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add all the fruit and cover with a round of baking parchment, then reduce the heat to low–medium and simmer until the fruit is tender, about 10 minutes. Strain the fruit, reserving the liquid.
Return the liquid to the pan and reduce over high heat for 5 minutes until thick and syrupy. Add the fruit and cook for a further 2 minutes or until it is well glazed. Cool and refrigerate until needed.
To make the pistachio sugar, blitz the pistachios and icing sugar in a blender until you have a fine powder. Set aside.
For the meringue, preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6. Line a 32cm x 24cm baking tray with baking parchment and lightly grease with oil. Whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then gradually add the caster sugar, a little at a time, and continue whisking until thick and glossy. Quickly fold in the vanilla extract, vinegar and cornflour.
Transfer the meringue to the baking tray, spreading it out evenly, and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas Mark 3½ and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Remove the meringue from the oven and leave to cool for 2–3 minutes on the tray. Dust a sheet of baking parchment with half the pistachio sugar. Carefully invert the baking tray to turn out the meringue onto the pistachio-sugared baking parchment.
Let it cool for a further 5 minutes, then carefully peel off the baking parchment from the top of the meringue. Starting from one of the long sides, and using the baking parchment underneath to help you, gently roll up the meringue to form a log and set aside.
To make the filling, beat together the mascarpone and creme fraiche. In another bowl, whip the double cream with the icing sugar until you have soft peaks, then fold in the mascarpone and creme fraiche, along with the orange blossom water.
Carefully unroll the meringue and spread with the filling. Drain the poached fruit, discarding the liquid, and lay it evenly over the filling, then sprinkle with the basil or mint leaves and roll up, again using the paper to help you.
Refrigerate the roulade for an hour to set, then serve in slices, dusted with the remaining pistachio sugar.
If you devoured this, Ravinder’s new cookbook, Jikoni, is out now.