A delicious cake from Rachel Allen.
- for the meringues:
- 4 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 300 g (11oz) caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- for the strawberry sauce:
- 200g (7oz) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
- juice of 1 lemon
- 50g (2oz) icing sugar
- 500 ml (18fl oz) double or regular cream
- 23c m (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin
- Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F), Gas mark 1, and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
- Place the egg whites in a large, spotlessly clean bowl, add the salt and whisk into soft peaks. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking between each addition. Continue whisking until all the sugar has been added and the meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks.
- Using a large spatula or metal spoon, fold in the vanilla extract. With a tablespoon or dessertspoon, scoop up a heaped spoonful of the meringue mixture, then use a second spoon to scrape the mixture onto one of the lined baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining mixture, leaving a little room in between each meringue.
- Alternatively, spoon the meringue mixture into the piping bag and pipe a series of small mounds or rosettes, each approximately 7cm (23/4in) in diameter, onto the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. (Unless you have a fan oven, you will need to bake the biscuits in two batches.) To test whether the meringues are ready, gently lift up one and press the base – it should be crisp but give way with a bit of pressure. If possible, allow to cool down completely in the oven, with the heat switched off and the door slightly ajar. Transfer the cooked meringues to a wire rack – they will crisp up further as they cool.
- Line the cake tin with a double layer of cling film and then make the strawberry sauce. In a food processor or blender, whiz the strawberries with the lemon juice and icing sugar, then pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl and discard the seeds left in the sieve.
- Pour the cream into another bowl and whisk into soft peaks, then crumble the meringue into the whipped cream and stir together to mix. Add the strawberry sauce, swirling it through the cream and meringue mixture.
- Tip the mixture into the lined cake tin and smooth the surface with a spatula. Wrap the tin in cling film and freeze for at least eight hours or preferably overnight.
- Take the frozen cake from the freezer, then unclip the sides of the tin and carefully lift these away. Remove the cling film from the sides of the cake, then use a palette knife or metal fish slice to carefully transfer the cake from the base of the tin to a serving plate. Cut into slices to serve, either on its own or with fresh strawberries.
More by Rachel Allen:
- Steak and watercress bearnaise
- Ivan's chinese crispy mackerel pancakes
- Smocked haddock and cockle soup