serves 4 to 6
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
2/3 cup (150 g) 5 oz caster sugar (superfine granulated)
filling and topping
350 g (12 oz) fresh raspberries
1 1/4 cup (300 ml) 1/2 pint double cream (heavy cream)
1 tsp (5 ml) caster sugar (superfine granulated)
a few angelica leaves
1. Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper or non-stick baking parchment.
2. Draw a 15 cm (6 inch) circle on each and very lightly oil the greaseproof paper, if used.
3. Set the oven at 110°C (225°F) gas 1/4
4. Combine the egg whites, salt and sugar in a heatproof bowl.
5. Set over a saucepan of gently simmering water and whisk until the meringue mixture is very thick and holds its shape.
6. Put the meringue mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm (1/2 inch) plain nozzle.
7. Starting from the middle of one circle, pipe round and round until the 15 cm (6 inch) circle is completely filled.
8. Pipe a similar round on the other piece of paper. Use any remaining mixture to pipe small meringues on the paper around the circles.
9. Bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, then leave to cool.
10. Meanwhile, pick over the raspberries, spread out on a large platter and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
11. Make the filling. Rinse the raspberries, patting them dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
12. Reserve a few choice berries for decoration and set the rest aside in a bowl.
13. Whip the cream in a bowl to firm peaks, then stir in the caster sugar and kirsch to taste.
14. Place one of the meringue rounds on a serving plate, spread with some of the cream and arrange half the raspberries on it in a layer.
15. Put the second meringue on top of the raspberries and arrange the reserved raspberries in the centre.
16. Put the remaining cream into a piping bag fitted with a star or shell nozzle and pipe rosettes or a decorative edge of cream around the berries.
17. Decorate the sides of the vacherin with the tiny meringues and angelica leaves.
18. Serve the vacherin in slices, like a cake, using a flat cake slice to transfer the slices to individual plates.