Chocolate Meringue Stacks and…On the Buses

A few days ago Arabella received a text message from a school friend of hers and this is what the message said:

“Dad was catching a bus and he told me of a young man who was on his bus and wearing Ray Bans just like the ones he has.  He said he looked a lot like Leonardo di Caprio and was serenading people on the bus with his guitar and good voice.  Dad said he was very ‘James Dean’.  Does Archie catch buses?”

Hmmm.  Archie wears Ray Bans.  He also has a guitar.

Chocolate Meringue Stack

Apparently this ‘serenading’ took place a week or so ago.  Nothing had been said to me.

I had a chat to Archie.

He said, ‘Oh yeah.  That was me.  So someone we know was on the bus?  That’s hilarious’.  He said he was on the bus and had his guitar with him.  An old lady came up to him and pointed to his guitar case and in an abrupt sort of a way asked, ‘What’s that?’

‘A guitar’, he said.

‘Well can you play it?’

‘Yes’, said Archie.

‘Well can you play it well?’

‘Well, I guess so’.

‘Well sing us a song then.’

Chocolate Meringues with Vanilla Cream and Macerated Berries

Everyone on the bus had been listening in to this conversation and laughing at the old lady’s demanding tone and so Archie stood up and said, ‘Does anyone want to hear a song?’  And they all said they did.

Archie said, ‘Well how does everyone feel about a Jack Johnson cover?’  And as they all wanted to hear a song, any song would have done and so there was a resounding, ‘Yes’.

Archie sang ‘Taylor’ and received great applause.

The old lady said, ‘That’s bloody great’.  Someone up the back then yelled out, ‘Encore’, so Archie sang ‘Wagon Wheel’ by Old Crow Medicine Show.

Everyone clapped but alas, the bus had reached Archie’s stop so he packed up his guitar and headed for exit.  The old lady said, ‘Thanks a lot.  That was brilliant.  You’re very good’.  The bus driver said, ‘Thanks mate, that made my day a lot more interesting’.

I think this covers all the food groups

And Archie alighted the bus and carried his guitar home and said nothing.  The only reason we know anything about this impromptu performance is because a friend of Arabella’s had her father on that bus and he came home and relayed the story.  The friend thought, ‘that sounds like it could be Archie’.

Archie’s just come home from a weekend away.  He walked through the door yelling out, ‘I’m back and something smells great.  What are you cooking?

Archie was in luck because I had just pulled from the oven these chocolate meringues that I filled with vanilla cream and macerated berries.

Chocolate Meringue Stacks

Serves:  4

Degree of Difficulty:  3/5

Cost:  I only needed to buy berries and cream as meringues require few ingredients.  Very inexpensive for a great effect.

  • 4 eggwhites
  • 1 1/4 cups castor sugar
  • 2 tbspns cocoa
  • 50gms dark chocolate, grated
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 punnet strawberries, washed and hulled and halved
  • 1 punnet blueberries
  • 1 tbspn caster sugar, extra

Preheat oven to 130C.

Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and using a pencil draw 8 x 9cm circles onto the paper.  Turn the paper over.

In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites until stiff.  Add sugar 1 tbspns at a time, mixing well to make sure sugar is dissolved before adding another spoonful.  Continue beating until meringue is thick and glossy.  Add cocoa and grated chocolate.  Turn off beaters as soon as cocoa and chocolate is incorporated.

Spoon meringue onto circles.

Bake for 1 hour.  Turn off oven and leave in oven with door closed for another hour.

Whip cream with vanilla extract until soft peaks form.

Place berries in a bowl and sprinkle with extra sugar.  Set aside for 15 minutes.

To assemble, place on meringue disc on a plate and top with cream.  Top with berries.  Place another meringue disc on top.  Add more cream and finish with berries.

This recipe has been loosely adapted from Berry Chocolate Meringues on Taste.

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  1. What a fantastic story – and so typical of Archie to have bowed to the woman’s pressure and played for the bus!! He certainly deserved a serve of this dessert, which looks delightful.

  2. That’s brilliant! Really made me smile! I also kind of love that he told no one, like it was just his happy little secret! Those meringues look fantastic!

  3. Hahaha that’s so funny and that someone actually thought Carl was Archie 😛 do they look alike? it’s so sweet of Archie to sing and play for the old lady ~

    Meringues are such great desserts they’re so versatile 🙂 I’ve actually never made them at home before though lol hope you’ve had a lovely weekend xox

  4. What a small world and what a delightful story. Archie is such a generous and delightful young man, oh, how proud you must be!!!!!
    I am right over for a few Chocolate Meringue Stacks with coffee please.

  5. What a coincidence! Our bus driver would have asked him to leave; entertainers actually have to audition and have a special license to play in our transit system!
    Chocolate meringue sounds amazing. Love the gorgeous colourful fruit, such an elegant dessert.

  6. That is a lovely story! I’m so impressed with Archie and how much fun that you learned of it through your daughter’s text.

  7. I think we need more Archies on buses. Perhaps Archie could fly up to Minneapolis for a bus concert.

  8. It’s a small world, isn’t it? You might never have heard the story of what happened on the busy if not for that fact. 🙂 Archie sounds like a lovely young man, appeasing the demanding older lady in such a nice fashion and entertaining his fellow bus riders. He deserved his sweet treat when he got home.

  9. What an awesome experience it must have been to be on that bus! And if I were told that I would get these meringues as a treat for singing on a bus, I’d do it (but I would not get the same praise or thanks from those around me!).

  10. Haha what an awesome story, I love how Archie is so uninhibited! I bet that elderly woman walked around with a huge smile all day 🙂
    These meringues look gorgeous my friend, who can resist delicious crunchy layers!

    Choc Chip Uru

  11. Archie wasn’t lucky. That was Karma in action. He gave a gift to his fellow passengers and the Universe paid him back in chocolate meringue. Not a bad deal.

  12. I love that he took it in his stride and that it was no big deal for him. So much so that he told no one. You have a great son!

  13. Of course Archie comes home at the exact same moment your baking is done. I don’t blame him though because they do look amazing!

  14. That is BRILLIANT. The only “interesting” things I’ve ever had happen on buses in Canberra are of the creepy/scary/violent variety. Archie is best.

  15. Aww that would have made my day back when I used to catch the bus. When I’m older I’m going to be demanding and say what I want too (hang on….). You really can’t go wrong with chocolate meringue, cream and berries. Yum!

  16. Wish I was on the bus, I would have requested some songs too. Its a small world.

  17. Archie is a good sport. He obviously loves to perform.

    Those meringues look soooooo good. I’ve got to try these sometime.

  18. What a great post! Good for Archie–how lovely that he can spontaneously cheer people up by playing and singing. I wish I had been on the bus. And then at your house so I could eat some of these meringues. Yum.

  19. Funny story! Archie sounds like a nice and accommodating person. And you were nice to accommodate him with these great looking Chocolate Meringue Stacks. Really good stuff – thanks.

  20. Archie’s impromptu performance sounds awesome! Very courageous!

  21. Archie sounds positively charming. What a great looking dessert, too! Charmed the pants off of me! =)

  22. Too funny!! I love that he was so nonchalant that he didn’t bother to mention that he was the cool guy on the bus! And he looks like Leonardo! What a good lookin’ family you have. And that’s a good lookin’ stack of chocolate meringues! He must have loved them! xx

  23. love your story post and your blog! glad to have stopped by. please feel free to visit sometime x

  24. Hahah what a cool story to find out through text message so randomly like that! Beautiful looking meringue stacks as well 🙂

  25. Magnolia Verandah says:

    How great is that! A true performer! I would have loved to have been on that bus.

  26. That’s the best story. You’ve raised a talented but humble young man. You must be so proud of him. Now pass me one of those meringues and stand back.

  27. I can see all of the bus passengers coming forward one day when Archie is famous saying how he played for them.
    Chocolate meringues, hmm, nice!
    🙂 Mandy

  28. I love your photographs… how beautiful. Thanks and Love, nia

  29. your son sounds like such a character! you must be so proud! it’s not just anyone that can leave a bus full of people with a smile on their face!

  30. Hi Charlie,
    What an awesome story. I am still smiling as I write. I love how uninhibited Archie is. He has all the makings of a star. You must be real proud!
    Gorgeous meringue stacks!

  31. I absolutely loved this story Charlie. You have a great kid there. I wish him great success and hope he is really famous one day. And you are a great Mom. I love the dessert and will make it for my boys.

  32. Archie is SO destined to be famous! Can I have his autograph please Charlie? 😉

  33. Knowing your baking adventures, I’m pretty sure Arche could say that everytime he walked into your house…. and what a fun way to brighten peoples’ day!

  34. Charlie, I loved this story! Archie is so open to new experiences and has such zeal for his music and entertaining, he is going to go far! I think you could write a whole book about your wonderful children. And the meringue stack is amazing, too! 🙂


  1. […] solo and impromptu performance on the bus gave Archie inspiration.  A few weeks ago he came to me and said, ‘Mum, I won’t be home […]

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