Strawberries and Cream Meringue Cake

 

 

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Cake | Vagabond Baking-15It’s strawberry season! That only means one thing, summer! Glastonbury weekend {pah, not for me this year *wallows in self-pity*}, Wimbledon is dominating the tv channels {am I the only person who finds tennis a terrific bore?} and the supermarkets are stacked to the rafters with British strawberries. Many of those berries will have been grown up here in sunny Fife, where the fruit farms have roadside berry stalls where you can pull in and buy direct from the farmer, how’s that for local produce!

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Cake | Vagabond Baking-8This cake is a celebration of this glorious season, a layered cake of vanilla sponge, marshmallowy meringue and a luscious filling of strawberries, jam and cream. It’s like the love child of a Victoria sponge and Eton Mess, naughty but rather delicious. The cake and meringue part comes from Nigella Lawson, from her amazing Lemon Meringue Cake, of which I’m a big fan. The sponge is baked with a layer of meringue at the same time, easy-peasy. When I was wondering what to do with my punnet of strawberries this cake came to mind and I thought it would be perfect to convert it from citrus to berry.

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Cake | Vagabond Baking-14After finishing house sitting in Yorkshire, we drove up to Scotland to spend two weeks staying with our friends in north Fife, they’re off on their holidays now so we’re keeping Bo the dog company. A quiet fortnight catching up with people and all the mundane stuff like banking, paperwork etc. On a more exciting note, we are getting the first of our travel injections this week. Luckily we don’t need as many as we thought as we did as we are still covered from the last trip, what a relief, these jags are so expensive! Having the injections seems to make the trip a reality, next on the to-do list is booking the tickets. I’m researching the Trans-Mongolian Railway like a crazy woman, I have train numbers swimming through my mind and I’m so indecisive…..

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Cake | Vagabond Baking-13

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Cake

oven 200 C / gas 6 / 400 F

two 21 cm round sandwich pans, buttered and base lined with parchment

For the sponge layer

  • 125 g { 1 + 1/10 sticks } soft unsalted butter
  • 4 free-range egg yolk, use the whites for the meringue layer
  • 100 g {1/2 cup } caster sugar, I used golden caster sugar
  • 100 g {4/5 cup } plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

And for the meringue layer

  • 4 free-range egg whites
  • 200 g { a very scant cup } caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

To fill the cake

  • 150 ml {3/5 cup } double cream {heavy cream}
  • a big handful of fresh strawberries
  • 5 tbsp strawberry jam/conserve

Begin by preparing the sponge, place all the sponge layer ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat using an electric mixer into a batter, this is quite a stiff batter. Divide the batter into the two prepared tins and use a spatula to gently spread the mixture over the base of the tins, it will be a very thin layer of batter. Set aside. Alternatively you can do this step in a food processor, I prefer to avoid the big pile of washing up this creates!

Quickly wash and dry your beaters so you can whip up the egg whites.

Place the egg whites into a spotless mixing bowl and add the cream of tartar. Have the 200g of caster sugar ready. With your electric mixer fitted with the washed, clean beaters beat the egg whites to peaks then add the sugar slowly, spoonful by spoonful. It should become thick and glossy.

Spread half the meringue into one of the tins so that it lays flat over the sponge batter. Put the rest of the meringue into the other tin, spread it over the batter then use the back of a spoon to raise peaks in the meringue.

Put the tins into the preheated oven and then turn it down to 190 C / gas 5 / 375 F. Bake for 20-25 minutes by which time the meringue will have risen up and bronzed. Word of warning here: make sure your peaked cake has plenty of head room in the oven, it will rise up quite a bit! To test if the sponge is cooked, insert a skewer or knife into the flat-topped meringue cake, it should come out clean with no trace of sponge batter.

Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack, still in their tins to cool completely. The meringues will sink down as they cool.

To fill the cake, place the layer with the flat-topped meringue onto a serving plate meringue side down, peel off the parchment.

Beat the strawberry jam up with a spoon to loosen it then spread it over the sponge.

Whip the cream not too stiffly, I did this by hand so as not to over beat it. Chop the strawberries up then stir them into the cream.

Spoon dollops of the strawberry cream over the jam, this is easier than spreading. Finish the cake by removing the parchment off the peaked meringue sponge and topping the cake with it.

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Cake | Vagabond Baking-16All you need now is a jug of Pimms and a sunny afternoon!

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By Rachel Davis

16 Responses

  1. Dave Rowley says:

    British strawberries, yum! And I’m SO looking forward to your postings from Trans-Mongolian!

  2. madscar says:

    This is amazing! I love it:)

  3. Wow, that looks gorgeous. Meringues are my favourite things ever so I’ll definitely be trying this recipe out. (BTW someone asked me for your treasure cake recipe the other day after seeing a pic of the one I made on FB!)

  4. bakeaffairs says:

    Divine, delicious, scrumptious….. Meringues, strawberries.. it’s like heaven :-)

  5. Sarah says:

    This cake looks amazing, and I am super jealous of your travel plans! The trans-mongolian railway sounds pretty awesome, meanwhile I will be here, in Brisbane, in my house. 0_0

  6. This looks super yummy :) so summery too! x

  7. trixpin says:

    Om nom nom. I think I need this cake in my life. I love the idea of the crispy meriguey sweetness on top and the fresh strawberries inside.

  1. June 30, 2013

    […] Strawberries and Cream Meringue Cake. […]

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