If you are looking for a simple to prepare dessert that is smart enough to impress your guests, look no further than this Salted Honey Cream Meringue Wreath with fresh strawberries. It's relatively simple to prepare, tastes sensational and will easily win hearts at the dinner table.
My obsession with salted honey returns today in spectacular dessert form. I warned you I hadn't done with this delectable mix of salty-sweet flavours. In truth, I'm not sure I will ever be done with it.
I think I've previously teased you with the notion of adding strawberries into the blend when I published the recipe for my salted honey ice cream last summer. Well, more recently, I took that thought a stage further to create this simple yet stunning Salted Honey Cream Meringue Wreath. It comes topped with fresh strawberries.
Creamy meringue desserts are an easy win, especially in summer. Most people seem to adore a homemade meringue. Perhaps it's that lovely, slightly gooey and chewy centre lurking underneath the crisp and crunchy shell that wins us all over... Along with that lavish mountain of cream. (Sigh).
For my Salted Honey Cream Meringue Wreath, I decided to use a muscovado sugar meringue. Aside from tinting the meringue a pretty shade of cream, muscovado sugar contributes a hint of honeyed caramel to the overall flavour, making it more mellow and less intensely sweet than a regular white sugar meringue. It's a wise choice when pairing with the wonder that is salted honey cream. Yup, that's double cream blended with honey and salt (triple sigh).
Although this dessert is devilishly good looking, it's actually very easy to prepare. The only vaguely fancy step is piping the meringue nests into a circle. I traced around a regular sized side plate to give an approximate template and then piped 8 meringue nests onto this template. Easy.
When I first served this Salted Honey Cream Meringue Wreath up to my family and guests, I happened to mention that a grinding of black pepper would work wonders on it. Okay, you may now picture 2 adults and 3 kids looking at me as if I had just landed from Mars. I suppose I was really suggesting salt & pepper meringue for dessert. And... I concede that does sound eccentric, even for me, but the truth is, a breeze of black pepper really does add to this dessert since strawberries and black pepper are a working partnership. All diners did agree once they had got over the notion in their mind and tried it out.
This creamy meringue looks great topped with finely chopped strawberries and either a few edible flowers or fresh mint leaves. You can also pipe individual meringue nests rather than a wreath. And whether or not you go with the black pepper is a matter I won't judge upon either way. I promise.
Just in case you wind up addicted to the flavours in this Salted Honey Cream Meringue Wreath, like me, here are a few more salted honey recipes for you to fall back on:
- Salted Honey Ice Cream
- Salted Honey Hot Chocolate
- Cinnamon Chocolate Cake with Salted Honey Buttercream
Salted Honey Cream Meringue Wreath
For the Meringue
- 3 Egg Whites (large, free range)
- 100 g/ ½ cup Light muscovado sugar (or replace with caster sugar)
- 100 g/ ½ cup Caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon Cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Cornflour (cornstarch)
Salted Honey Cream
- 300 ml/ 1 ¼ cups Double (heavy) cream
- 2 tablespoon Runny honey
- ¾ teaspoon Sea salt flakes
- 200 g/ 1 cup Fresh strawberries
- Mint leaves or edible flowers for garnish
- Black pepper (optional)
Make the Meringue
- Preheat oven to 140C/ 275F/ GM1
- Cut a piece of baking parchment to fit your baking sheet. Draw a circle onto the centre of the parchment using a regular sized side plate as a template. Flip the parchment over so the pencil marking is on the reverse
- Weight the sugars into one bowl and stir to combine
- Put the egg whites into a medium sized bowl and begin to whisk, using electric beaters, until just stiff
- Add the sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, whisking continuously, until all of the sugar has been added. This process will take around 5 minutes, but the meringue will be a much better texture than if you add it all in one go
- Add the vinegar and cornflour and whisk for a further minute until fully incorporated
- Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a suitable nozzle (I used a Wilton 4C) and pipe a meringue nest onto the template - begin by piping a dot onto the template you have drawn (12 0'clock). This is the centre of the nest. Next, in one continuous motion, go around the dot twice to make a bigger circle, and then go around again on top of the outer circle to make the sides. In the same way, pipe another nest onto the template directly opposite the first nest (6 o'clock). Add a nest at 3 o'clock and one at 9 o'clock. Finally, pipe 4 more nests in between the first 4 to join up the meringue and complete the circle (the nests need to be touching). Use any extra meringue to fill in/ join/ decorate the wreath or to add extra height to the nests.
- Put into the oven, turn the heat down to 120C/250F/ GM ½ and let cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the heat down to 100C/ 210F/ GM ¼ and cook for a further 30 minutes
- Try to peel the parchment away from the meringue - it should easily come away. If so, remove the meringue from the oven and let cool completely. If not, allow to cook for 5-10 more minutes and test again
- Once cool store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to assemble and serve
Make the Cream
- Grind the sea salt using a pestle and mortar
- Pour the cream into a medium bowl. Add the honey and sea salt
- Whisk until soft peaks form - be careful not to overwhip the cream and make it stiff
- When ready to serve, spoon or pipe the cream into the cavity of each nest
- Chop the strawberries finely and scatter a few pieces over the top of each nest. The rest can be put into a bowl for people to help themselves to with their portion of the wreath.
- Garnish with fresh mint or edible flowers
- Serve, with a grind of black pepper if desired