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Strawberry Meringue Layer Cake

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

This is another Oz-emanating recipe, one I scribbled down from a friend once after a gardenside, Sunday’s summer lunch. And you should know that I have never made it myself without some other friend asking me, in turn, for the recipe as well. Pavlova meets Victoria sponge is, give or take, what it is: but, as lazy luck would have it, much simpler to make than that or its ceremonious title would suggest.

This is another Oz-emanating recipe, one I scribbled down from a friend once after a gardenside, Sunday’s summer lunch. And you should know that I have never made it myself without some other friend asking me, in turn, for the recipe as well. Pavlova meets Victoria sponge is, give or take, what it is: but, as lazy luck would have it, much simpler to make than that or its ceremonious title would suggest.

Image of Nigella's Strawberry Meringue Layer Cake
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 8

Metric Cups
  • 125 grams plain flour
  • 25 grams cornflour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 100 grams very soft unsalted butter
  • 300 grams caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 50 grams flaked almonds
  • 375 millilitres double cream
  • 250 grams strawberries
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 7 tablespoons very soft unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups superfine sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces strawberries

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/gas mark 6/400°F. Line, butter and flour 2 x 22cm Springform tins.
  2. Weigh out the flour, cornflour and baking powder into a bowl.
  3. Cream the butter and 100g of the caster sugar in another bowl until light and fluffy. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the butter and sugar, saving the whites to whisk later. Gently fold in the weighed-out dry ingredients, add the vanilla, and then stir in the milk to thin the batter. Divide the mixture between the two prepared Springform tins.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add the remaining 200g caster sugar. Spread a layer of meringue on top of the sponge batter in each tin, and sprinkle the almonds evenly over.
  5. Bake for 30–35 minutes, by which time the top of the almond-scattered meringues will be a dark gold. Let the cakes cool in their tins, then spring them open at the last minute when you are ready to assemble the cake.
  6. Whip the double cream, and hull and slice the strawberries; that’s to say, the bigger ones can be sliced lengthways and the smaller ones halved. Invert one of the cakes on to a plate or cakestand so that the sponge is uppermost. Pile on the cream and stud with the strawberries, letting some of the berries subside into the whipped whiteness. Place the second cake on top, meringue upwards, and press down gently, just to secure it.
  7. If you’ve got any more strawberries in the house, hull and halve them, and serve them in a dish on a table to eat alongside; it gives the cake a more after-lunch, less afternoon-tea kind of a feel, but it’s hardly obligatory.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/gas mark 6/400°F. Line, butter and flour 2 x 22cm Springform tins.
  2. Weigh out the flour, cornstarch and baking powder into a bowl.
  3. Cream the butter and 100g of the superfine sugar in another bowl until light and fluffy. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the butter and sugar, saving the whites to whisk later. Gently fold in the weighed-out dry ingredients, add the vanilla, and then stir in the milk to thin the batter. Divide the mixture between the two prepared Springform tins.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add the remaining 200g superfine sugar. Spread a layer of meringue on top of the sponge batter in each tin, and sprinkle the almonds evenly over.
  5. Bake for 30–35 minutes, by which time the top of the almond-scattered meringues will be a dark gold. Let the cakes cool in their tins, then spring them open at the last minute when you are ready to assemble the cake.
  6. Whip the heavy cream, and hull and slice the strawberries; that’s to say, the bigger ones can be sliced lengthways and the smaller ones halved. Invert one of the cakes on to a plate or cakestand so that the sponge is uppermost. Pile on the cream and stud with the strawberries, letting some of the berries subside into the whipped whiteness. Place the second cake on top, meringue upwards, and press down gently, just to secure it.
  7. If you’ve got any more strawberries in the house, hull and halve them, and serve them in a dish on a table to eat alongside; it gives the cake a more after-lunch, less afternoon-tea kind of a feel, but it’s hardly obligatory.

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What 4 Others have said

  • I've made this recipe twice now, and I love it! I made two changes the second time: Twice the berries and only 250 ml of whipping cream. I put about half the cream on the bottom layer, cover it with sliced berries, put most of the rest on top so it all sticks together, add the top layer and save a bit of cream and perfect berries for the top. Also 400F for 30-35 mins is too much in my oven. I start at 375, reduce to 350 after 15 mins and then start checking! Several of my friends are making this now and also love it!

    Posted by babscanplay on 6th July 2020
  • Mum makes a version of this but with a french custard in the middle and it is to die for.

    Posted by Heavens on 30th September 2019
  • Have made this twice now. It looks stunning and tastes as good as it looks!

    Posted by Nigella4me on 7th August 2019
  • Second time baking this cake, we all love it in our house, and second time burning the top. Will try 170C next time.

    Posted by Deea1 on 24th August 2017
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