Hazelnut Meringue Cake

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Hazelnut Meringue Cake

It's patisserie week on GBBO and, while the contestants were stacking their meringue showstoppers sky high, we thought we'd take it down a level with a more simple, yet equally delicious, Hazelnut meringue cake for our bake-along.

Ingredients

Serves 6


150g skinned hazelnuts
300g caster sugar
6 egg whites
2-3 drops vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon white wine vinegar
300ml double cream
1-2 tablespoons icing sugar, to taste, plus extra to dust
Melba sauce, to serve (see notes at the end of the recipe)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 190°C. Line two 20 cm round cake tins with nonstick baking parchment to cover the bottom and sides.
  2. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10–15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Tip onto a plate and set aside to cool.
  3. Put the cooled nuts in a blender or food processor with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and process until the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. Do not over-process them, or process them while still warm, or they will become greasy.
  4. Using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl to stiff peaks. With the beaters still running, add 4 tablespoons caster sugar, sprinkling it in 1 tablespoon at a time and making sure the mixture re-stiffens after each addition.
  5. Stir the remaining sugar into the ground nuts. Fold the vanilla and wine vinegar into the meringue, then fold in the nuts very carefully, until just combined. Divide the mixture between the tins and smooth the tops with a palette knife. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until risen a little and light brown. Keep an eye on them towards the end to make sure they don't overcook.
  6. Remove from the oven to a wire rack and leave the meringue rounds to cool completely in the tins. Once cold, carefully remove from the tins, then peel away the baking parchment.
  7. Put the cream and icing sugar in a large bowl and whisk until just holding its shape. Sandwich the meringue rounds together with the cream (bottom to bottom) and sift icing sugar over the top. Serve in slices, with the Melba sauce.

Variations...

  • Walnut meringue cake: Replace the hazelnuts with walnuts (the skins are difficult to remove, so leave them on) and proceed as for the main recipe. Stir ½ quantity of lemon curd through the cream to create a marbled effect, before sandwiching the halves together.
  • Macadamia meringue cake: Replace the hazelnuts with macadamia nuts and proceed as for the main recipe.

How to make Melba sauce...

Ingredients

250g fresh raspberries

30-50g icing sugar, to taste

Method

Blend the raspberries and the icing sugar in a food processor until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve into a bowl. Adjust the consistency with a little warm water and the sweetness with a little water and icing sugar combined. The sauce can split on standing, so needs to be made shortly before serving.

From making meringues to mastering macaroons and mille-feuille, you can test your baking skills with us in Chef Skills Patisserie classes, and add a bit of sparkle to your table this Christmas with Festive Baking!

Sophie Hibbert

Author: Sophie Hibbert

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