Saturday, June 5, 2010

Berries Shortcake Meringue Cake

This recipe is from “” (Meringue Cake) , I changed a few details, such as substituted white with brown sugar and omitting cream of tartar from meringue. I also added lemon grind to the batter and added blueberries. Combination of lemon zest and berries works really well with sweetness of meringue. We were invited to a summer picnic party and I wanted to make something to please both children and adults. First idea was Pavlova with berries but because Pavlova needs to be eaten right after topping with cream it was not an option. So when I found this recipe it seems like a perfect combination of Pavlova and Strawberry Shortcake. It is also a perfect cake for little girl’s Birthday party.
Cake Batter:

4 large egg yolks
1 cup (100 grams) sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) (114 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Meringue Layer:
4 large egg whites
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 - 2 tablespoons (14 - 28 grams) granulated white sugar
1 pound (454 grams) fresh strawberries and blueberries, cut into bite sized pieces
Confectioners Sugar (powdered or icing) for dusting top of cake
Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Grease and flour two - 8 x 1 1/2 inches (20 x 3.75 cm) round cake pans. Set aside.
Separate the eggs while they are still cold, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).
In a mixing bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Set aside while you make the meringue layer.
Meringue: In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Divide the meringue between the two cake pans, gently smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The meringue layers will have turned a light brown and will be crisp to the touch but soft inside. Place the pans on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, remove from pans.

Shortly before serving whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form. Cut the strawberries into bite sized pieces and, if necessary, add a little sugar to sweeten them. Place one of the cake layers, meringue side up, on a serving platter. Spread the whipping cream onto the cake and top with the strawberries and blueberries.
Gently place the second cake layer, cake side down so the meringue layer is facing up, onto the first layer. Decorate with some cream, a strawberry and few nice blueberries. Dust with confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar. If not eating immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator until serving time. The assembled cake will hold in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Serves 8 - 10.

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