For me, Valentine’s Day is all about showing my family and friends how much I love them! And nothing says “I love you” more than a home-cooked meal with a spectacular dessert. This year, I am showing my loved ones how much I care for them by whipping up a beautiful and elegant dessert–Meringue Hearts with Strawberries.
Soft meringue hearts are filled with whipped cream and topped with fresh strawberries. The result is elegant, dramatic, and absolutely delicious. The best part? All the components can be made ahead of time and then assembled at the last minute. So that means more time in the company of those you love!
It starts with making meringue for the hearts. I recommend taking the time to prep all the ingredients before starting so you can move smoothly through the process.
Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees.
Then draw four hearts (about 4-5-inches in size) in pencil on a piece of parchment paper–I actually free-handed these, but if you have a template, use it! Flip the parchment over (because no one wants to eat pencil!) and place the parchment on a rimmed baking sheet. Set the baking sheet aside.
In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup of superfine sugar (1/2 cup + 1 teaspoons granulated sugar processed in a food processor for 30 seconds) and a bit of cornstarch. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
In a small ramekin, combine some white vinegar and some vanilla extract. Set aside.
Now that we have all the “add-in” ingredients assembled, we can start making the meringue.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine 2 egg whites and a pinch of salt. Start to beat the egg whites on a low speed, gradually working towards medium speed. When you look into the bowl of the mixer and see small, even bubbles forming (it looks like the egg whites are only foam) start sprinkling in the sugar/cornstarch mixer one tablespoon at a time. When the sugar is all added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and then add the vinegar/vanilla mixture.
Continue to beat on medium-high until the meringue is shiny and stiff peaks form. Like this!
I piped the meringue because spooning it out and shaping it free-hand would be a bit messy. I snipped a corner of a zip-top baggie and added a star piping tip. If you don’t have piping tips, that’s okay–they are just as beautiful with rounded edges!! I piped concentric hearts to form the bottom of the meringue and then added a second layer on the outer edge only. This creates a cup where the whipped cream and berries will sit!
Bake the meringue circles at 250 degrees for about 45-50 minutes, then turn off the oven, crack the oven door open, and let the circles cool in the oven for one hour. You can make the meringue circles earlier in the day and store them in an air-tight container until dessert time!
Then it’s time to assemble. Place the meringue heart on a plate and add some whipped cream.
Then top with fresh strawberries!
It is a perfect, light dessert that your loved ones will drool over!
Check out more of Catherine’s delicious recipes by visiting Simply A (RD) Foodie and come back here every Wednesday for new recipes!
- 2 egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Outline four hearts (4-5” in diameter) on a piece of parchment paper using a pencil. FLIP the parchment over and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine superfine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk to combine thoroughly. If you don’t have superfine sugar, no worries. Toss 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds and then you have superfine sugar!
- In a small ramekin, combine vinegar and vanilla. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine 4 egg whites and a pinch of salt. Start to beat the egg whites on a low speed, gradually working towards medium speed. When you look into the bowl of the mixer and see small, even bubbles forming (it looks like the egg whites are only foam), start sprinkling in the sugar/cornstarch mixer one tablespoon at a time. When the sugar is all added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and then add the vinegar/vanilla mixture. Continue to beat on medium-high until the meringue is shiny and stiff peaks form.
- Pipe the meringue evenly into each heart--use concentric hearts to fill in the heart outline and then pipe a second outer layer to create a cup.
- Bake the meringue circles at 250 degrees for 45-50 minutes, then turn off the oven, crack the oven open, and let the circles cool in the oven.
- When the meringues are cool, remove from the oven and set aside. They can be made ahead and stored in an air-tight container until you’re ready to assemble!
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine heavy whipping cream and sugar. Beat cream on medium-high speed until just becoming stiff.
- Place a heart meringue on a pretty plate.
- Dollop 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream into the middle of the heart and spread it out evenly to fill the entire cup. Layer on sliced strawberries.
- Serve it up to family and friends immediately! Enjoy!
(1 serving = one meringue heart, 3 tablespoons whipped cream, 1/2 cup strawberries): Calories: 218 | Fat: 9gm | Saturated fat: 5gm | Carbohydrates: 33.5gm | Sodium: 76mg | Fiber: 1.5gm | Protein: 2gm | Cholesterol: 33mg
Recipe lightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen.