Hazelnut Meringue Cake

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Ingredients

For the meringue

150 g g blanched hazelnuts blanched hazelnuts
6 egg whites egg white
300 g g golden caster sugar golden caster sugar
1 tbsp tbsp white wine vinegar white wine vinegar

For the plums

12 plums plum
stoned and quartered
50 g g soft brown sugar soft brown sugar
0.5 tsp tsp cinnamon cinnamon
1 vanilla pods vanilla pod
seeds scraped
0.5 orange juice orange juice
Juice of half an orange

For the chocolate drizzle

75 g g dark chocolate dark chocolate
finely chopped
50 - 75 ml ml whole milk whole milk
500 ml ml double cream double cream
100 ml ml amaretto amaretto

Hazelnut meringue cake with amaretto cream

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1:40 h
(12)

Method

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.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°F/Gas 4. Line 3 x 20cm cake tins with foil, lightly greased on both sides.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. When ready to assemble, whip the cream into soft peaks and stir through the amaretto.
  8. 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.

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