Festive Dessert Selection

Paint a pretty picture with a selection of desserts. Add ice cream at the table for the die-hards!

YOU WILL NEED

Red Velvet Stars

  • 2 extra large eggs at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) canola oil
  • ¼ cup (60 g) butter, melted
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) full cream milk, warmed
  • 1 x 580 g Ina Paarman’s Red Velvet Cake Mix

Mini-Meringues – Makes ± 150

  • 4 egg whites = ½ cup (125 ml)
  • 2 t (10 ml) lemon juice (use a fresh lemon)
  • 1 cup (220 g) castor sugar
  • baking paper

Berry Selection for Presentation

  • ± 400 g berries, such as small strawberries, blueberries, red currants, stalk cherries etc.
  • icing sugar
  • 80 g dark chocolate, melted
Method
To make the Red Velvet Stars

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the base of a swissroll pan, 36 cm x 25 cm, with baking paper.

Mix according to box instructions. Scrape ¾ of mixture into the pan and spread out evenly. Make cupcakes with the remaining mix, bake for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Cut out stars in two sizes, one medium and one small. The stars are easier to cut out if the cake is not too thick, that is the reason why we used ¼ of the mixture for cupcakes.

For the meringues

Adjust two oven racks, one just below and one above the middle position. Preheat the oven to 140°C and line two large oven trays with baking paper.

Do not use a plastic mixing bowl. Glass, copper or stainless steel is best. Wipe the bowl out with the cut side of the lemon and then dry it with clean kitchen paper. Rinse your beaters in boiling water to make sure there is not a speck of grease on them.

Stand the bowl on a dishcloth. Beat the egg whites just until bubbles form. Add the lemon juice. Beat vigorously on high speed while turning the bowl with your other hand.

When the whites form peaks and the points of the peaks stand up and just bend over slightly when you lift the beater, you can start adding the castor sugar tablespoon by tablespoon. Continue beating and adding the sugar slowly until the mixture becomes thick, heavy and shiny.

Glue the corners of the paper to the pan with a little of the meringue mixture. Put meringue mixture into a piping bag with a snipped off tip.

Pipe tiny meringue dots all over the paper as illustrated.

Bake straight away for 20 minutes at 140°C and then another 40 minutes at 120°C. Switch off the oven and leave meringues in the oven with the door closed to cool down completely. Store in an airtight container, between layers of used baking paper.

To assemble

Arrange two stars on each medium size plate and dust with icing sugar. Add meringues and berries. Pipe melted chocolate over the berries.

Ina's Tip

These mini meringues make lovely Christmas gifts.

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