Hazelnut meringue cake

Present an elegant finish to your next dinner party with this beautiful fruit decked cake
By Rachel Allen
Hazelnut meringue cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-10
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • butter, for greasing
  • 225 g hazelnuts, skin on and toasted
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 200 g caster sugar

For the topping

  • 350 ml double or regular cream, softly whipped
  • 250 g raspberries, or sliced hulled strawberries or a mixture of the two
  • few fresh mint leaves, (optional)
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. Butter the sides of a 23cm spring-form or loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with a disc of baking parchment. If youre using a spring-form tin, make sure the base is upside down so theres no lip and the cake can slide off easily when cooked.

2. Place the toasted hazelnuts in a food processor and whiz for a minute or so until they form a coarse powder with a few larger chunks for texture. Using a handheld electric beater or an electric food mixer, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together for 5-7 minutes or until pale, thick and mousse-like, then fold in the hazelnuts.

3. In a separate, spotlessly clean bowl (and having cleaned the electric beater, if using), whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then gently fold them into the yolk mixture until incorporated.

4. Tip the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cake begins to come away slightly from the edges of the tin. Dont worry if it dips slightly in the middle.

5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides using a small, sharp knife, then carefully remove the sides of the tin and leave the cake on a wire rack to cool down completely before transferring to a serving plate.

6. Spoon the whipped cream all over the top of the cake, leaving a gap about 1cm wide around the edge. Scatter the raspberries or strawberries over the cream. Decorate with a few mint leaves, if using, then dust with icing sugar.

Text © Rachel Allen 2012. Photography © Philip Webb 2012.
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