Berry Tasty Mess

Posted by Brette in Food

Local strawberries are in and I’m looking for lots of ways to use them. I decided to make Martha’s Vacherin with Whipped Cream and Mixed Berries . (July Martha Stewart Living) I had never heard of vacherin, but the recipe is basically for meringue with whipped cream and berries. It sounded light and tasty and the photo in the magazine was pretty and appealing.

The first step is to whip the egg whites.  Let me be honest here – I have no idea if I whipped them long enough. Martha says to whip until they are very stiff and glossy. Mine were glossy but I have no idea how stiff they should be. I guessed.

vacherin1You draw a circle on parchment paper and heap the egg whites inside it, on two separate pans. Then you bake it at 200 for 2 hours and then turn the oven off and leave them inside for an hour and a half. I did all this precisely, however when I went to assemble this, neither of the meringues were cooked all the way through and stuck to the parchment paper. I was totally crushed. I’m really getting tired of following Martha’s instructions to the letter only to have it not work! The good thing about this recipe is that the mess was easily covered by whipped cream.

I assembled the dessert with the whipped cream and berries and it did look vacherin3very pretty. It actually cut pretty well, but didn’t look so great on the individual plates. It looked mushy.

As for taste, the part of the meringue that was cooked was delicious- crunchy and sweet and light. I loved it with the berries. I thought there was a bit much whipped cream for my taste.

The biggest problem with this dessert is that it is a use or lose it proposition. vacherin5You can’t save it since the meringue gets mushy. So you really need to be prepared to serve and eat the entire thing or waste it.

If the meringue had been cooked, this would have been a winner.

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6 Responses

  • I was just reading back through your posts and I have to say: it’s amazing how Martha’s recipes (and sometimes crafts) only fall on two points of a rating scale. Either they are a total bust or they are amazing! I can’t figure out what the deal is with them! I’m still blaming Martha for infesting our house with mice and the 2nd degree (I exaggerate, but not by much) burns on my hands I got right in time for Christmas. But her lemon curd and chocolate cake are absolutely the best recipes ever! WTH Martha? Anywho, I’m really enjoying your blog! (And I’m secretly glad I’m not the only one who can’t churn out perfect Martha recipes every time. 🙂

  • For me there seems to be three categories – awful, so-so and fantastic. I know what you mean though. It still amazes me how horribly some things can turn out.

    Mice and burns! Oh no! That’s awful!

  • Glenda says:

    It might work better to bake them in individual-size rounds instead! THey would cook more evenly and you coud assemble individually as needed… 🙂

  • I like the idea of creating individual desserts a lot. It would be much prettier on the plate.

  • Yeah, I made these. . .

    They were from her magazine and in the article it said to use food-grade latex gloves when you roll the nuts. Step one: boil the sugar and water.
    Step two: add nuts and pour the whole molten mess onto a silicone mat.
    Step three: pick up the MOLTEN SUGAR covered nuts and ROLL THEM BETWEEN YOUR HANDS!!!
    Note to Martha: That was mean. You need a heck of a more sturdy glove than LATEX!

    I guess my problem is I trust her too much 🙂 lol! But those pralines DID taste fantastic 🙂 I made them the next year and just dropped blobs of them on the silipat in little clusters instead of trying to roll the little molten buggers into perfect balls.

  • OMG that sounds so painful!