Many of you out there knew my Mom ob”m. She was quite a lady. In South Africa she was known as Morah Chana, as she taught for some 30 years at King David, Linksfield. Then she did a complete career change when she moved to Israel, where she spent close to the next 20 years of her life working in a bank. Helga was a lady of incredible strength and talent, and it is from her that I inherit my love of cooking. She was always ready to try a new recipe and experiment with something new. As I sit and type this, I remember the night she served my sister, Esther, and me steak peri-peri (a very hot pepper spice). She put 1 Tbs. of peri peri in the sauce instead of one tsp. We could not eat it, it was so spicy. We all had a good laugh. On the whole, she was a very skilled cook, and one of her pride desserts was her Meringue Delight.
Meringues are the perfect dessert for Pesach as you can make them very successfully without baking powder. Also you can make them ahead of time as long as you store them in an airtight container. I apologize up front that I do not have a picture of the final product, but something went wrong with my camera and it was eaten before I got to get a picture, so for the final assembly, you are going to have to use your imagination, but I do have some pictures.
6 egg whites
2 cups sugar
2 -3 Tbs. cocoa
1 pint whipped topping (Kinneret or Rich’s)
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup blackberries or blueberries
Separate egg whites from the yolk. Make sure that no yolk drops into the egg whites as they will not beat up stiffly enough. You can use the yolks to make your own mayonnaise as you don’t need them in this recipe.
Using an electric beater, beat whites until they are stiff and peaks form.
Add about a 1/4 of a cup of sugar at a time. Each time you do so beat the whites till sugar is incorporated. You will see that the egg whites start to get softer and shinier. Continue until all the sugar is incorporated.
Add the pinch of salt and fold in.
Line a large flat baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make a big circle on the paper and fill it with meringue, spreading it out to make the layer about a quarter of an inch thick.
Using a teaspoon, take heaped amounts of meringue mix and spoon individual meringues onto the parchment paper, swirling the spoon as you lift it so that little peaks form.
Bake in a 250°F oven for 1 hour 15 minutes and then turn off oven but leave meringues in oven till completely cool. Remove and place the meringue shell and the individual meringues in an airtight container or a ziplock bag so that they remain crispy and dry. Only remove to assemble at the last minute.
Beat Whipped Topping till stiff. Refrigerate till ready to assemble.
Wash strawberries and slice in half.
Assemble just before serving so meringues don’t get soggy.
To assemble, place the round base on a platter. Cover with whipped topping. Place a layer of white meringues on top, and then keep building up the white and chocolate meringues, using the whipped topping as your “glue” to keep the meringues on top of each other. Build into a “pyramid” like shape. Decorate with the sliced strawberries and berries.