This weekend, I was lead to believe that it was the 2nd meeting of the Lausanne Baking Society (it’s recently had a name change to allow for items other than cake to be accepted). Unfortunately we discovered that we had the dates wrong after 4 of us had commenced or completed creating our culinary masterpieces. This lead to an impromptu cake party at my place! After running around frantically making the house tidy enough to be seen by guests, 4 lovely ladies arrived with their cakes (and a couple of lovely people arrived to ‘help’ eat cake). A couple of fabulous hours were spent chatting, drinking champagne and rose and eating waaay too much cake. For those of you scoffing at such an idea, try it. There is such a thing as too much cake!
For the last society meeting I made a gluten free pistachio, almond, rose water and lemon drizzle cake. But this month I was overtaken with a desire to bake my sisters favourite cake. Berries have come into season and this cake is a fabulous way to eat them! I ended up making 4 large meringue layers and one smaller one for the top but I only used 3 and the smaller layer (meaning I have an additional meringue to take with me to France on the weekend to share with my parents in law).
- 3 teaspoons of cornflour, plus some for dusting
- A small piece of unsalted butter for greasing
- 6 egg whites
- 330 grams of vanilla infused caster sugar
(You can use normal sugar if you don’t have vanilla infused. To make your own, next time you have a leftover vanilla bean, add it too your sugar and leave it for a week)
- 700 ml of whipping cream
- 150 grams of dark couverture chocolate chopped
- 500 grams of washed, hulled and thinly sliced strawberries
- 250 grams of washed blueberries
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla concentrate (I use Taylor & Colledge Pate de vanille available from Migros)
- 2 tablespoons of icing sugar
- 100 grams of ground almonds
Preheat your oven to 120 degrees celsius (or 100 degrees if you have a fan forced oven).
On 5 pieces of baking paper, draw a 20cm circle and flip over (so you’re not eating lead pencil). Lightly grease the baking paper and dust with cornflour, shaking off the excess. Place on baking trays.
If you have a small oven you may need to do the following part in portions (2 eggs and 110 grams of sugar at a time) so that your meringue mix is fresh and doesn’t separate whilst your other layers are cooking. I did all of mine at once and managed to get them into the oven with some fabulous skills homed by too many hours playing tetris as a kid!
Beat your eggwhites in a large bowl, until light and fluffy and soft peaks form. Slowly add in the sugar and keep beating on high until your mix is thick and glossy. Beat in three teaspoons of cornflour.
Divide the mixture and spread out on baking paper circles, spreading right to the edges. Bake in the oven for about an hour or until your meringue is firm and dry. Cool in the oven with the door left ajar.
To make chantilly cream beat cream, vanilla concentrate and icing sugar until soft peaks form.
Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed atop a saucepan containing 2 inches of simmering water (ensuring that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl).
To assemble cake, peel off the baking paper from the meringue. Place a layer on your serving plate and sprinkle with almond meal. Drizzle chocolate over the top of the almond meal. Add a layer of chantilly cream and top with strawberries and blueberries. Drizzle with a little more chocolate for decoration.
Sandwich next meringue layer on top and repeat until all your layers are used or desired hight is attained.
I adapted this recipe to create my meringue as I’d managed to misplace my original meringue recipe.