Hazelnut Meringue Cake

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I was very honoured recently when a friend of mine asked me if I would do the catering for her friend’s Kitchen tea. Although a lot of the food that I made included most of the bride-to-be’s favourites, I wanted to make something a little different too. This recipe comes from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible which I was given for my birthday from a good friend and I can see this becoming one of my treasured recipe books… This recipe is a definite Delish MUST! 🙂

Ingredients:

140g shelled hazelnuts
4 large egg whites
250g caster sugar
a few drops of vanilla essence
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

For the filling:
300ml whipping cream
225g fresh raspberries
icing sugar, for dusting

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 190C/Fan 170C. Lightly brush two 20cm sandwich tins with oil and line the base of each tin with baking parchment.
2. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and put in the oven for about 10mins, then tip onto a clean tea towel and rub well together to remove the skins. (I used blanched almonds so skipped this step).
3. Grind the nuts in a food processor.
4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar, one tsp at a time, whisking well between each addition. Whisk until the mixture is very stiff, stands in peaks, and all the sugar has been added. Whisk in the vanilla essence and white wine vinegar then FOLD in the nuts. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and smooth the tops with a palette knife.
5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-40mins, but no longer. The tops should be crisp and the inside soft and marshmellow-like. Turn out of the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.
6. Whisk the cream until thick and use about two-thirds to sandwich the meringues together along with two-thirds of the raspberries. Spread the remaining cream over the top, scatter on the remaining raspberries and dust with icing sugar.

Tip: Fill the meringue about 3hrs before serving; it will then cut into portions without splintering.

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