Meringue Cake - 2 layers
(for 3 layers see bracketed quantities)
2 egg whites (3)
1-1/2 cups castor sugar (2-1/4)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (3/4 tsp)
1 teaspoon vinegar (1-1/2 tsp)
1 teaspoon cornflour (1-1/2 tsp)
4 Tablespoons boiling water (6 Tbs)
50g ground hazelnuts (75g)
Filling and Topping
600mls cream (250ml for filling & 350ml for top & sides of cake)
185g dark chocolate
1/4 cup water
500g berries (raspberries, strawberries mulberries - whatever you have)*
* Apricots or pineapple and passionfruit would be really nice instead of berries too, or another fruit with a bit of acidity.
Step 1: The Cake
- Preheat the oven to moderate (140-160 degrees celsius)
- Place all meringue ingredients in electric mixer bowl (I use a Kenwood mixer with the whisk beater)
- Beat mix on high speed for approx. 15 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and meringue is very stiff.
- While the meringue is beating, prepare trays (2). Cut enough baking paper to line the trays, and draw a 20cm circle on each piece of baking paper (or greaseproof paper).
- Lightly spray the paper with oil spray, and dust with cornflour, shaking off the excess.
- When meringue is ready, divide the mix into two and spread on the papered trays, within circles drawn.
- Sprinkle the meringue circles with ground hazelnuts, and with a knife swirl the nuts into the meringue.
- Smooth the tops of each meringue cake and bake in oven for approx. 40 minutes or until the meringue is crisp to touch (it will still be nice and chewy on the inside).
- When cooked, remove from the oven and cool on the trays. When completely cold, remove the baking paper from the cakes.
Step 2: Decorating the cake
- Whip the cream
- Wash and hull the berries (if using strawberries, slice in half lengthwise)
- Chop the chocolate (or pound it in a mortar, with a pestle - very satisfying!).
- Place chocolate and water in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and stir until melted.
- Place first layer of the meringue cake onto a serving plate, flat side down.
- Spread thin layer of melted chocolate over the meringue.
- Spread a layer of whipped cream over the chocolate, and cover with berries, leaving enough to decorate the top of the cake also.
- Spread the underside of the second meringue cake with melted chocolate, and place chocolate side down on top of the first,
- Cover the top (and sides if desired) of the cake with more whipped cream, and decorate with berries.
- To finish, drizzle melted chocolate over the cake in thin streams.
- Refrigerate until serving. This cake may be prepared several hours before serving. It serves 6-8 people.