Strawberry Meringue Cake

I love strawberries. I could eat them everyday, several times a day! They were in season a while ago and I seized the opportunity to make something. When I saw this recipe from an old Woman & Home magazine, I just knew I had to make it. Simply heavenly!

Baking is my first love, especially cakes and pastries. I loved the idea of baking the cake and meringue together. I have made meringue layered cakes before by making the meringue separately and then assembling it. What I loved about this recipe is that you bake the meringue together with the cake. So easy.

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When I took the cakes out of the oven, the meringue had risen almost to the top of the pan. They did go down after sometime, but that didn’t affect the taste. There’s only one word to describe this cake – divine. It looks pretty spectacular too. And it’s easy to make – so what are you waiting for?

Don’t worry if the cake batter is a little thick. You will need to gently level it with your fingers.

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Strawberries, sponge, meringue and a creamy yogurt filling – strawberry cake doesn’t get better than this!

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PREP: 35 minutes COOK TIME: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

50g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

4 large egg yolks

½tsp vanilla extract

75g plain flour

25g cornflour

2tsp baking powder

5tbsp double cream

Icing sugar to dust

For the meringue

4 large egg whites

225g caster sugar

For the filling

150ml double cream

150ml thick Greek yogurt

400g strawberries, hulled

Instructions

Butter and line 2 8-inch loose-bottomed sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat again. Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder into the mixture and fold in. Finally, fold in the cream and mix together gently. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins.

In a separate clean bow, beat the egg whites into stiff peaks, then gradually add the sugar a dessertspoonful at a time, beating continuously until thick and glossy. Divide the meringue between the tins and layer on top, making sure that you don’t mix the meringue with the cake mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack – meringue side uppermost. For the filling, whip the cream into soft peaks, then stir in the yogurt. Lightly crush 250g of the strawberries and stir into the cream.

Place one cake meringue-side up on a plate and spread two-thirds of the cream on top. Put the other cake on top, meringue-side up and fill with the remaining cream. Top with strawberries and dust with icing sugar.

Poached Mangoes with Strawberry Coulis

My friend Beryl was an amazing and passionate cook who was very generous with her time and her recipes. She was warm and friendly, and really loved to feed people. She was one of my earliest food influencers.

She passed away some years ago, but I was blessed to continue to cook the recipes she gave me; my love for food I passed on to my own daughter. When Beryl taught me this recipe, she used a thinned down version of her own blueberry jam as a topping, but I decided to try it with a strawberry coulis instead. The combination of the luscious mangoes cooked in spicy sugar syrup and the strawberries are amazing. It’s a dessert that can be put together very easily, even if you’re tired and pressed for time; serve it and watch the compliments flow in.

Fresh mangoes are the best for this recipe. You can use any type of mango. The mango needs to be a little ripe, but not completely so.

 

Cut the mango lengthwise with a sharp knife. You have to remember not to overcook the mangoes, or they will turn mushy and break apart. They should be al dente.

What a lovely burst of colour on the plate — yellow and strawberry pink. You can also serve this dessert with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe:

1 mango, peeled and sliced lengthwise

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

2 sticks of cinnamon

1 clove

For the coulis:

1 cup strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

Heat the sugar, water, and spices in a pan over medium heat, while stirring constantly. When the sugar has melted completely, add the mangoes and cook gently for around 5 minutes.

Test the mango pieces with a knife; they should be al dente. Remove from heat and cool. Retain the sugar syrup to use in other recipes or to poach other fruits; it will keep well in the fridge.

To make the coulis, blitz the strawberries and the sugar in a food processor. I like my coulis a little chunky; you can blitz to a smooth puree if you prefer. Stir in the lemon juice.

Serve on a bed of strawberry coulis, with some coulis drizzled on top, as shown.