Recipe: rhubarb and vacherin meringue

By Ashraf Saleh - Head Chef of Coya, Sydney.

Ashraf Saleh is the chef-owner of award-winning restaurant Coya in Sydney. Saleh integrates rhubarb - currently in season in Australia - with meringue, which is one of the most traditional elements of French pastry. The result is a beautifully presented dessert with textural contrasts and a tangy creamy palate.

Serves: 6 - 8

Time: 4 hours



4 egg whites
250 g (9 oz) sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
1⁄2 teaspoon white vinegar
A few drops of food colouring (optional)

1 bunch rhubarb
200 g (7 oz) sugar

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mascarpone
100 ml (31/2 fl oz) cream
50 g (13/4 oz) sugar


Preheat the oven to 90 °C (194 °F). Lightly grease a baking tray and line it with baking paper.
Whisk the egg whites and sugar together until stiff. Add the cornflour and vinegar to the egg whites (and colouring, if desired).

Spread the mixture thinly onto the baking-paper-lined tray. Bake for three to four hours, then let it cool
slightly. Break it into pieces and store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

Clean the rhubarb and chop it into one centimetre (1/2 inch) pieces. Add them to a saucepan
with the sugar and cook until soft. Set them aside to cool.

To make the mascarpone, whisk all of the ingredients together until the sugar is
dissolved through.

To serve, place spoonfuls of mascarpone mixture and rhubarb in a bowl. Top with large shards of
meringue to make a tower shape.