Bilby Bites - the food blog from Bilby Marketing

Strawberry Meringue Cake

Meringue to me is the absolute crème de la crème of dessert ingredients. When you throw in fresh strawberries as this recipe does, well let's just say I'm extraordinarily happy. When I first came to the UK, I didn't understand the immediate need to check a dessert menu that so many Brits seemed to feel. I often met people who may not have removed their jackets or sat down in a restaurant, but they already knew what they were ordering for pud. I haven't fully joined this sweet obsessed group, but I definitely learnt to check the dessert menu early on in the evening in order to leave room if anything takes your fancy. The problem for me, is there is not enough meringue on menus. It's light, squidgy and when paired with fruit makes it seem veritably healthy and thus guilt free. Sort of. The inclusion of almonds in the egg white mix gives this a lovely nutty, caramel flavour that cranks things up a notch.

Strawberry Meringue Cake

Strawberry Meringue Cake

More Meringue!

More Meringue!

Ingredients

  • 175g whole almonds, toasted
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1kg strawberries, hulled and halved, or quartered if large
  • icing sugar to taste plus extra for decorating
  • 586g pot double cream

Method

  • Heat oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Process about two-thirds of the toasted almonds until just chopped, but not until they are clumping together. They need to be still be in pieces rather than ground or this will affect the cooking time. Roughly chop the remaining toasted almonds.
  • Stir the two sugars together, then using an electric hand whisk, beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Add the sugar to the egg whites in three batches, beating the mixture back to stiff after each addition. Finally, add the cornflour and vinegar and keep going until the meringue mixture is glossy stiff, so that the beaters feel heavy when stirring. This might take 5 minutes.
  • Working at speed, fold in all of the finely chopped nuts and most of the roughly chopped with a spatula, then divide the mixture between the two baking sheets. Spread both into 20cm circles, then scatter the remaining chopped nuts over. Bake for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and leave the meringues inside to cool for at least another hour. Leave the oven door closed - this will help to prevent them cracking. These meringues will keep overnight in an airtight container, or can be wrapped in cling film and frozen for up to 1 month.
  • For the strawberry sauce, purée 600g of the strawberries in a food processor or blender. Press through a sieve to remove the seeds, then sweeten with 2 tbsp of the icing sugar. You may need more if the strawberries are tart although the cream will balance this out to some extent. This purée can be made up to 1 day ahead. Sieve the remaining icing sugar into the double cream and whip until it just holds its shape. Carefully swirl through two-thirds of the sauce.
  • To serve, slide one of the meringues off its baking parchment onto a serving plate, then spread over half the cream. Place the second meringue on top, pile over the rest of the cream and top with the remaining strawberries. Dust with a little more icing sugar if you like, and serve the leftover strawberry sauce alongside.

Bilby Boost

  • Be careful with those almonds - I accidentally added all of the nuts to the egg white mix rather than just the finely chopped nuts and I think this upset things. I needed an extra half an hour of cooking time - this may also have been down to the high level of humidity that day which can cause problems, but don't be worried if yours doesn't cook in the allotted time given here, just add a little on.
  • Mine also cracked - probably due to me opening the oven door!
  • Don't be too worried about squidgy centres and cracking as the cream and strawberries hide a multitude of sins and it still tastes great.

The original recipe can be found on the BBC Good Food website.