- 4 1/2 oz. egg whites (from 3 large eggs)
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 14 oz Cape gooseberries, divided use
- 1 cup whipping cream, whipped into soft peaks
To make the meringues:
- Preheat the oven to 275°F/140°C. Place oven racks on the two middle shelves of the oven. Trace 8 circles, about 3 inches/8 cm wide, on a sheet of parchment paper. Repeat on a second sheet of parchment paper. Place parchment papers on two baking sheets.
- Whisk the egg whites and salt together with a mixer, either stand or hand-held, until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks are formed. Spoon in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar is added. The mixture should be thick and shiny.
- Dollop a large spoonful of the mixture onto each of the drawn circles on the parchment paper, dividing equally. Smooth the tops with the back of a spoon. Each meringue should be ⅓ inch/1 cm thick.
- Place both baking sheets in the oven. Bake for 2 hours. Turn off the oven but do not open the door! Opening the oven door will let in cooler air and cause the meringues to crack and collapse. Let the meringues cool, undisturbed, for at least 2 to 3 hours.
To make the toffee:
- Select 8 Cape gooseberries and carefully peel back the papery husk but leave it attached to the berry. Set aside.
- Place the sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Do not stir. Tilt the pan from side to side as the sugar melts and caramelizes.
- Once the sugar is a caramel color, remove it from the heat.
- Working quickly, tilt the pan so that the toffee collects to one side. Holding onto the husk, dip gooseberry (just the fruit, not the husk) into the toffee. Let the excess toffee drip back into the pan and place the fruit on a plate or sheet of parchment.
- Repeat with the remaining 7 gooseberries.
- Remove the papery husk from the remaining gooseberries and cut them in halves.
- Top one meringue with whipped cream and a few berry halves. Place another meringue on top. Spoon on more whipped cream and top with a toffee-coated Cape gooseberry as a garnish.