Hazelnut meringue cake with amaretto cream
A layered meringue cake packed with spiced plums and amaretto-laced cream, finished with a glossy chocolate drizzle. Perfect for a Christmas dinner party, you can prepare the meringue and plums a day in advance to cut down prep time on the day.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°F/Gas 4. Line 3 x 20cm cake tins with foil, lightly greased on both sides.
- Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor along with 2 tablespoons of sugar until fine. Warm the remaining sugar on a lined baking tray for five minutes in the oven.
- Whisk the egg whites in a metal bowl until they’re stiff, then whisk in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until stiff and glossy. Fold in the nuts and any remaining sugar, along with the vinegar.
- Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth over the tops and bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until golden and firm. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
- For the plums, combine the fruit, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla into a foil-lined roasting dish. Pour over the orange juice and bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, till plums are sticky and soft. Leave to cool and set aside until required.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water, removed from the heat. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan to a gentle simmer, then pour into the melted chocolate along with a tablespoon of plum syrup and mix to form a pourable consistency.
- When ready to assemble, whip the cream into soft peaks and stir through the amaretto.
- Carefully peel the foil from the meringue and lay one on a serving plate. Spoon over a third of the cream and scatter over a third of the plums. Repeat with the remaining layers of meringue, cream and plums and drizzle over the chocolate to serve.