These Raspberry Bars with Chocolate and Walnuts Meringue are an explosion of flavors. The crumbly base is super buttery and light, whereas the filling is sweet thanks to the raspberry jam and dark chocolate. And the best is at the end, with the meringue and the crunchy walnuts. Four times delicious!
Can you believe September is already over? I can’t! The year has gone so fast. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’ve been very focused on my blog, trying to always share easy and melt-in-your-mouth yummy recipes, while learning food photography and working on some side projects (that soon you’ll know about).
This week, I’m sharing another family classic. These Raspberry Bars with chocolate and walnuts meringue are to die for, let me warn you.
This recipe is brought to you thanks to my mom, with her full approval. Along with her Apple Crumble Cake, it’s her signature dessert to bring to any event or BBQ. So, I took advantage of her visit in July to learn how to make it properly, so I could share it with you now. Just apologies for the delay.
How to make these Raspberry Bars with Meringue
The base for this tart is very simple to prepare. The recipe instructions are quite clear (and just a few 🙂 ).
Once it’s been in the fridge for 30 minutes, let’s roll it with a rolling pin (or a bottle if you don’t have one at hand), and place it on a baking dish lined with parchment paper. You could easily grease it with non-stick spray, or butter and flour, but I would suggest parchment paper. It’ll make your life way easier, at the moment of removing it from the dish before cutting.
Now, to the second layer of this mega-dessert: the raspberry jam.
What kind of raspberry jam to use
The answer is short and simple. Choose the best jam you can get. If it’s homemade, even better! At home, there has always been (and always there will be) homemade jams, as my mom loves making them in summer. Every time she gets her hands on good fresh seasonal fruits, she works her magic and turns them into delicious jams. So, if you are lucky to get a homemade jar of jam, don’t even doubt and choose it over the store-bought ones, ALWAYS!
However, if you do have to buy some, make sure it has the least quantity of ingredients. Or maybe head to a farmers’ market. They usually have a wide range of jams and marmalades. One of my favorite brands in Australia is Bonne Maman, a French company that makes some delicious conserves and spreads.
Alternatively, if you don’t happen to have raspberry jam, you can always use strawberries, berries or even plums. All these flavors match perfectly with chocolate, meringue and walnuts, so enjoy the chance of being creative and take a risk.
How to prepare the chocolate and walnuts meringue
Don’t panic as this recipe doesn’t require Italian nor Swiss meringue, as my Argentinean Rogel recipe. Actually, it’s more like a French meringue, but with way less sugar. You can imagine it’s already quite sweet with the jam and chocolate.
To get started, I would suggest using an electric mixer. But, if you want to have an arm work out, by all means, use a whisk. I’m not going to stop you!
Another thing to take into account to get a perfectly fluffy meringue is that the egg whites should be at room temperature. Once they are, in a very clean bowl, we’ll mix them for a few minutes until stiff peaks form. Then, we’ll sprinkle the sugar while we keep whisking.
Done! Next, let’s add the walnuts, previously roasted walnuts (in a mid-heat oven for 5 minutes) and the dark chocolate.
What kind of chocolate to use
Besides choosing one of excellent quality, I prefer using dark chocolate, as it’s not extremely sweet and pairs up perfectly with the raspberry jam and walnuts. Either way, you can still use milk chocolate. It’s just a matter of preference.
Generally, I also choose a chocolate slab and chopped it finely. But I leave some big chunks to surprise people later while they are biting on it. So that’s my suggestion. You can still opt for chocolate chips. It’ll have the same amazing impact on the final product.
How to bake these raspberry bars with chocolate and walnuts meringue
These raspberry bars with meringue bake pretty similarly to any other cakes. There are just two things to take into account: not to burn the meringue and making sure the shortcrust is fully baked. I know it seems like a lot to take, but that’s why I’ve tested the recipe a few times. So I can share my tips and tricks with you all.
First, we need to make sure not to burn the meringue. To do so, there are two tips:
- Place the baking dish in the middle shelf of the oven, so the temperature is even all throughout the tart.
- Place an empty baking sheet on the upper shelf of the oven. This will act as protection for the meringue, so it doesn’t get burnt.
The second thing to consider is the shortcrust base. In order for it to get fully baked, if the oven doesn’t bake the bottom of cakes very well (like most I’ve found in Australia), we need to pop the tart on the bottom shelf for the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Besides, when using a glass baking dish, as I suggest in the recipe, it’s easier to see the tart bottom. So, when we see it’s lightly golden brown, it’s done.
Now, we need to be patient and let it cool completely before cutting it into any-size-you want bars. It’s perfect to have with the after-lunch coffee or on Sunday’s tea sessions with friends.
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I’ll see you all in the next post. Happy baking!
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Raspberry Bars with Chocolate and Walnuts Meringue
- 100 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg
- 200 g self-rising flour
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- 350 g raspberry jam
- 4 egg whites
- 60 g white sugar
- 100 g walnuts chopped
- 100 g dark chocolate chopped
- In a bowl, whisk the butter and the sugar.
- Add the yolk, the egg and the vanilla essence, and whisk until well combined in a fluffy and whiter batter.
- With a spatula, fold in the flour with patience, until it’s well combined.
- Once it’s well combined, cover the bowl and pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Using an electric mixer, mix egg whites untill they are stiff.
- Sprinkle the sugar on the egg whites, while the mixer is still on.
- Once the sugar has disolved, using a spatula, fold in the chopped chocolate and walnuts very slowly, in order to make sure the egg whits don’t lose their volume.
- Preheat your oven to 180 ºC for 5 minutes and spray a 20x30 cm tart dish (ideally, a glass one) with some non-stick spray.
- On a floured countertop, roll the shortcrust 1 cm thick.
- Lay the shortcrust in the tart dish and spread the raspberry jam.
- Using a spoon, spread the meringue mix on the jam, making sure there are no peaks.
- Pop in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the base is lightly golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before cutting.
- BAKING: I suggest using a glass pan, so it’s easier to see when the base is fully baked. Also, to make sure the meringue doesn’t get burnt, place an empty baking sheet on the top shelf of the oven.
- ASSEMBLY: If the shortcrust is at room temperatura before spreading the raspberry jam, pop it into the freezer for 5 minutes. This will help spreading the jam and not breaking the base dough.
- STORAGE: Store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for a week. Or you can also freeze it, previously cut, for two months.