from one generation to the next
Another family birthday has come and gone. Miss S celebrated turning eight with a gymnastics party and lots of Lego gifts. The second small family celebration with the oldies called for a birthday cake that was wheat free, dairy free and contained no almonds, a challenge to say the least!
Miss S’ second favourite food is raspberries, cucumber is a hot number one. Cucumber cake seemed just a bit too weird so raspberries had to feature.
I almost resorted to Raspberry Surprise Cupcakes, but every time I opened the fridge door three egg whites in a cup waved and whistled. This idea grew from those pesky, attention seeking egg whites.
The meringue layers were inspired by Maggie Beer’s layered passionfruit ice cream with macadamia nut meringue.
Unless you have arms like “Popeye” a stand mixer is the best best of equipment for making meringue. Use a scrupulously clean metal bowl for the best results.
The macadamia nut are simply roasted on a clean dry oven tray until golden, cooled, then coarsely ground in the food processor.
100g macadamia nuts, roasted and ground
120g egg whites at room temperature (3eggs)
pinch of salt
220g castor sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
to make the meringue layers:
Preheat the oven to 140C fan forced.
Prepare three baking trays. Cut a sheet of baking to fit each tray. Trace a 20cm circle thickly with pencil onto the centre of each piece of baking paper using the base of a cake tin as a template.
Place one sheet on each tray upside down so the meringue does not come into contact with the graphite from the pencil. You should still be able to see the outline.
Whisk the egg whites with a pitch of salt into soft peaks.
Add the sugar I tablespoon at a time beating continuously until the meringue is thick and glossy and the sugar has dissolves.
Add the vinegar and cornflour, beat for a further 30 seconds.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, the fold the macadamia nut meal through the meringue by hand.
Divide the meringue between the three circles, then use the back of a spoon to spread it to the edges of the circles to make three matching 20cm discs
Bake the meringue layers for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed.
Gently transfer the meringue to a cooling wire.
The meringue can be made the day before needed.
Store in an airtight container.
to construct the cake:
A couple of hours before serving put a dollop of lemon curd on the serving plate then place a meringue disc on top.
Spread the meringue generously with lemon curd. Spoon a thin layer of mashed raspberry jelly on top of the lemon curd.
Top with a disc of meringue and repeat the layers.
When the top meringue layer is in place, spread generously with lemon curd and decorate the cake with fresh raspberries.
Allow the cake to rest in a cool place for a couple of hours before serving.