Hazelnut Meringue Cake
Doesn’t your average flour and butter filled birthday cake leave you feeling a little heavy? This is such a good alternative, loved by all and even has a healthy bit of fruity drizzle to liven it up, not that it needs to be livened up at all. Simple to make and delicious to eat, even for breakfast if you have some leftover (shhhhh). Taken from Leith’s Bible.
Serves 6 -8
225g caster sugar
4 egg whites
a drop of vanilla essence
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
225g of raspberries (I had some ripe peaches – tinned will do – and whizzed them up with half the weight of raspberries)
icing sugar, sifted
290ml double cream
1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and line two cake tines (20cm) with lightly oiled kitchen foil.
2. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until brown. Remove the skins by rubbing the nuts in a tea towel. Leave to get cold and set aside some nuts to decorate the top of the cake.
3. Whizz the hazelnuts with 1 tbsp caster sugar and do not over-whizz or they will become greasy. Add half of the remaining caster sugar.
4. Whisk the white until stiff and gradually whisk in the remaining caster sugar with vanilla and vinegar until very stiff.
5. Fold in the nuts and sugar gently and pile the mixture into the prepared tins, smoothing evenly with a spatula.
6. Bake in the oven for 40 mionutes. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Lift out the meringues to cool completely on a wire rack.
5. Meanwhile liquidize the fruit in a blender with the icing sugar to taste. Add a squeeze of lemon if needed. Push through a nylon sieve and taste for sweetness. Add a little water if too thick.
6. Sandwhich the meringue cakes with whipped cream in the middle. You could be 70’s about this and decorate with rosettes and a reserved hazelnut on top. Serve the coulis separately.