Hazelnut Meringue and Strawberry Gateau

This cake is best prepared a day in advance to allow the strawberry cream to soak into the meringue. This is a good dessert to eat after a light summer lunch outdoors or as a treat in the late afternoon.

Wine Recommendation: Our suggestion: Try a good sparkling wine like a Blanquette de Limoux. See The Mixed Case for details.

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

Hazelnut Meringue

  • 6 egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 120g hazelnuts, ground
  • butter

To Assemble

  • 800ml double cream
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 600g strawberries, hulled

Method

  1. Hazelnut Meringue: Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk them until they are they are form firm peaks. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whisk until you have glossy firm peaks. Gradually fold in the ground hazelnuts with a large metal spoon.
  2. To Cook: Preheat an oven to 150°C. Grease two 20cm cake tins with butter and line them with grease proof paper. Distribute the meringue mixture equally between the two tins. Place the meringues in the centre shelf of the preheated oven. Cook the meringues for 30-40 minutes until the tops of the meringues are just crisp. Remove the meringue from the oven and leave to them to cool slightly, then turn them out onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
  3. Strawberry Cream: Puree 150g strawberries in a food processor. Place the cream in a bowl with the icing sugar and whisk the cream until it is a firm cream. Stir in the pureed strawberries.
  4. To Assemble: Place one of the hazelnut meringues onto a plate and spread some of the strawberry cream over it. Slice 200g of the strawberries in half and place them on the cream. Place the other half of the meringue on the strawberries sandwiching them in. Spread the remaining cream around the cake so that it is totally coated. Place the cake in the fridge overnight or for at least 3 hours.
  5. To Serve: Remove the cake from the fridge. Slice the strawberries from the bottom to the top without cutting through the tops so that they hold together. Fan the strawberries out around the sides and tops of the cake. Serve.