Raspberry and Chocolate Meringue Cake

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This meringue cake is one of the most useful summer party puddings as it can be assembled up to 3 hours before you eat.

Ingredients

For the Meringue

  • 4 large egg whites (size 1)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 25 g (1 oz) cornflour
  • 25 g (1 oz) toasted chopped hazelnuts

For the Filling

  • 75 g (3 oz) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 large egg yolks (size 1)
  • 15 ml (3 fl oz) milk
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 375 g (12 oz) raspberries
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) double cream
  • Cocoa powder
  • Extra caster sugar

Method

Line the bottom of 2 ungreased 18 cm (7 in) sandwich tins with discs of baking parchment cut to fit. Whisk the egg whites with the salt until stiff, then whisk in half the sugar, a little at a time. Gently fold in the remaining sugar, the vanilla essence, vinegar, cornflour and chopped hazelnuts using a large metal spoon. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake just below the centre of a preheated oven, 140°C, 275°F, Gas Mark 1 for about 1½ hours until firm to a touch in the centre. Lay a tea towel on a wire rack and turn out the meringue cakes, removing the baking parchment.

While the meringues are baking make the filling. Put the chocolate in a small saucepan with the water and melt over a very gentle heat. Stir until smooth, then leave on one side. Put the egg yolks, milk and caster sugar in the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir until the mixture has thickened. Stir in the melted chocolate, then transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool.

When the filling and meringues are completely cold lay one meringue on a serving plate and spread with the chocolate mixture. Put a layer of raspberries on the chocolate, reserving a few for the top of the cake. Whisk the cream until stiff and spread it over the raspberries, then lay the second meringue on top. Chill until almost ready to serve. Sprinkle cocoa powder through a fine sieve all over the cake and gently arrange the reserved raspberries in a pattern on top. Sprinkle all over with a little caster sugar, again through a sieve.

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