Strawberry & hazelnut meringue cake
Preparation time:20 minutes Cooking time:45 minutes Total time:1 hour 5 minutes
This fruity dessert is best enjoyed outside in the sunshine. Sweet strawberries, nutty meringue and vanilla cream are the ultimate summer combination. If you like, tumble other types of berries over the top.
100g blanched hazelnuts
Sunflower oil, for greasing
150g caster sugar, plus an extra 2 tbsp
3 British Blacktail Free Range Large Egg whites
1⁄2 tsp white wine vinegar
170ml tub double cream
1⁄2 tsp vanilla bean paste
170g Greek-style natural yogurt
400g pack Waitrose & Partners Strawberries, hulled and sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C, gas mark 4. Put the hazelnuts on a small baking tray and roast for 8 minutes or until golden; set aside to cool. Meanwhile, grease and line the base and sides of 2 loose-bottomed 18cm sandwich cake tins. Put the cooled hazelnuts and 1 tbsp caster sugar in a small food processor; pulse until ground (a few chunky pieces are fine).
2. Put the egg whites and pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Using electric beaters, whisk to stiff peaks, then whisk in 150g caster sugar in 3 additions. Fold through the ground hazelnuts and vinegar, divide between the tins, smoothing the tops, then bake for 30-35 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. Using electric beaters, whisk the cream, remaining 1 tbsp sugar and vanilla to soft peaks. Stir in the yogurt. Remove the meringue cakes from the tins; place one on a cake stand. Spread with 1⁄2 the cream mixture and tumble over 1⁄2 the strawberries. Repeat with a second layer and serve at once.
Don’t grind the hazelnuts for too long in the food processor, otherwise they’ll become oily (and eventually turn to nut butter). Just pulse them until they’re quite finely ground.