Raspberry and Hazelnut Meringue Cake

Serves 6

For the hazelnut meringue

  • Oil, for greasing
  • 20g softened butter
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 100g shelled whole hazelnuts, skinned and finely ground in the food processor on pulse
  • 20g butter, melted and cooled
  • 35g plain flour, sifted

For the filling and top

  • 500ml double cream 1 vanilla pod
  • 75g icing sugar, plus extra to serve
  • 750g raspberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, Gas 3. Grease three flat baking trays with oil and cover with baking parchment. Grease the parchment well with softened butter to prevent the meringues from sticking. (For more of a perfect round cake, draw a 20cm circle in pencil on each sheet of paper, turn it over and put on greased trays, then grease the circles.)
  2. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, adding half the caster sugar a little at a time, then add the hazelnuts and the rest of the sugar. Gently fold in the cooled, melted butter and the flour and stir to combine. The mixture will become quite loose at this point.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the baking trays and spread out to a thickness of about 1cm, trying to get them all roughly the same shape and size. Put in the oven for about 45 minutes or until they are just cooked. Take out and remove from the parchment paper immediately (or it will be murder to get off once it has cooled even a little.) If the meringue is still soft in the middle put back in the oven, upside down on the parchment, then leave to cool on racks. If you are not ready to assemble and serve the cake straight away, I would suggest storing the meringues in sealed containers with some parchment paper between each one to prevent them from losing crispness.
  4. Half an hour or so before you are ready to serve (so that the raspberries do not bleed too much into the cream if the cake is sitting around for too long), pour the cream into a bowl. Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and, using a spoon, scrape the seeds into the bowl, then sift in the icing sugar. Whip the cream to form soft peaks.
  5. Lay the bottom meringue on a flat cake plate and spoon over a third of the cream, then carefully place a third of the raspberries on top. Place the next layer of meringue over, follow with the cream and raspberries and repeat with the final layer. Sift a little icing sugar over the top to serve.

Credits

Recipes and photographs are from Kitchen Memories by Lucy Boyd, published in hardback by Harper Collins and available from all good booksellers, RRP £20.