Almond & Hazelnut Meringue Layer with Summer Fruits and Raspberry Sauce

Serves:

8-10

Preparation time:

30 minutes

Cooking time:

1 hour 30 minutes plus cooling time

Ingredients

For the meringue:

  • 6 medium free range egg whites, at room temperature
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 50g blanched hazelnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 50g flaked almonds, half toasted and coarsely chopped

For the filling and the top of the meringue:

  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 300g raspberries, lightly crushed if large
  • 300g mixed soft fruits, we used strawberries, quartered and cherries

For the raspberry sauce:

  • 450g raspberries
  • 4-6 tbsp icing sugar, sifted

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140C/Fan120C/Gas Mark 1. Line 3 baking trays with baking parchment and draw a 20cm circle on each paper. Turn the paper over so the pen side is facing down.

  2. Place the egg whites in a large clean mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 1 ½ to 2 minutes or until stiff. Gradually beat in the caster sugar 1 dessert spoon at a time until the mixture is thick, stiff and glossy. Beat in the vinegar. Fold in the hazelnuts and the toasted almonds using a large metal spoon.

  3. Put a dab of meringue mixture under each corner of the baking parchment to hold it in place. Divide the meringue equally between the centres of the 3 circles. Then use a palette knife to help shape the circles. Sprinkle the remaining untoasted almonds equally over the meringues. .

  4. Place the meringues in the oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Swap the trays around every half hour. When cooking time is up turn off the oven and let the meringues cool completely inside the oven with the door slightly ajar.

  5. Meanwhile, to make the raspberry sauce, push the raspberries through a sieve into a bowl. Add the sugar slowly using a whisk until combined. Taste for sharpness. If the sauce is too sharp add more sugar. Pour into a jug, cover and set aside in the fridge until ready to use.

  6. Once the meringues have cooled take the meringues out of the oven. To assemble the meringues, whip the cream with the vanilla essence using an electric hand held whisk until it forms soft peaks. Remove the meringues from the baking parchment and place one of the meringues on a serving plate. Spread a third of the cream over the meringue. Top with half the raspberries. Top with the remaining meringues, cream and fruit. Finishing the top layer with strawberries and cherries. Serve with the raspberry sauce.

Tip

Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and cherries are all ideal for decorating the top meringue layer.