Saturday, 17 April 2010

Strawberry Meringue Cake

In the past few days I've really been craving light summer food. I wanted strawberries and cream and cake and meringue and cotton dresses swishing in the summer breeze around my bare legs. This ticked all the boxes. (Well, to be precise, the weather ticked the last one). I remembered this cake from Nigella's Forever Summer and thought it would be perfect for today. I didn't have the book as it's at home but I found the recipe online at Not Quite Nigella.

These strawberries were half price and looked beautiful - how could I resist? I also couldn't resist these beautiful flowers from my favourite flower shop in the Covered Market. Little things like buying flowers for our flat really make a difference to me - I adore having fresh flowers around to brighten my day. Even though we now have blossom blooming outside our window...

Today I also picked up my new lens - a F2.8/50mm macro. I haven't entirely sussed it out but I'm very pleased so far. It's very different from my kit lens.  I've had a lovely day messing around with it and baking this cake. (I did some work for my essay too, I promise).

The first slice I had was wonderful - the cake itself was still slightly warm and incredibly light and moist. The crunch of the meringue against the soft cake and creamy filling provides a wonderful texture. And, of course, the strawberries are perfect in the middle of cream and sugar. Ever other slice has been yummy too, but that first slice really made an impression.

I had to halve this recipe for my own safety - none of the usual suspects are around to help me eat it, and this isn't the type of cake you can sit and look at without eating. Trust me. This halved recipe hasn't lasted long...

As usual, I made a few little changes. I didn't have any flaked almonds so I kept the tops simple. I also didn't want the cake to be overly sweet, so I added a little greek yogurt to the whipped cream to take the edge off it and complement the meringue.

Strawberry Meringue Cake
(Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Forever Summer)

For the cake:
50g unsalted butter
50g golden caster sugar
2 egg yolks
62g plain flour
12g cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 180C. Line the base and grease the sides of a 5" round loose bottom tin. Cream the butter and sugar together then add the egg yolks one by one, beating well in between. Sift the flour, baking powder and cornflour over the top and fold in (mine was really quite dry). Add the milk and vanilla and fold to combine. Spread half of the mixture evenly in the bottom of the tin and reserve the other half.

2 egg whites
105g golden caster sugar

Whisk the egg whites until foamy then gradually add the sugar. Beat until you have stiff shiny peaks - this takes about 2 minutes. Spread half the meringue over the cake mix and create a few decorative peaks. Put into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave for five minutes then slide a knife around the edge and remove to a cooling rack. Clean the tin and repeat with the other half of the cake mix and meringue.

For the filling:
100 ml double cream
1 tbsp greek yogurt
small punnet of strawberries

Whip the cream until it's fairly stiff. Fold in the greek yogurt. Choose the cake half with the least attractive meringue and turn it over onto the serving plate and spread the cream mixture over the cake. Slice the strawberries and arrange them in a double layer over the cream. Top with the other half and squish slightly.

(Serves about 4)


  1. Oh boy. Looks so good. Its a proper winter like day here in Edinburgh, rain, fog, the lot! A bit of summer cake like this would help to cheer our moods up.

  2. This is gorgeous!

    Have fun with your new lens!

  3. I just want to pick it up and shove it in my face. It looks that good.

  4. Wow... this caught my eye. Looks delicious. I've made a Nigella Lawson lemon meringue cake that was fabulous.

  5. This meringue cake looks fantastic!

  6. I haven't made this before, but it looks so good that I might just have to try it!

  7. Such a beautiful dessert! I love pavlova and this reminds me of such dish!

  8. That looks ridiculously delicious!!!! Wow.

  9. it looks so good how do you put all the things you need in the middle ??

  10. i tried making this a little while ago- it was superb! thank you for the beautiful inspiration to get back to baking :) x

  11. Just gorgeous... I know what you mean by half. It calls you from the fridge each time you pass...I think this is another of Nigella's at her seductive best!!

  12. Being from the U.S. can someone do an exchange on the amounts of the ingredients and oven temp. Thanks - it looks and sounds delicious.

  13. Anonymous - Here's the conversion table I use: Hope that helps!

  14. Wow! That is beautiful!!! I want to try this out!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  15. I've been desperate to make this for ages! only thing is I have an aga ... im worried the meringue will be cooked before the cake. do you have any ideas on how i could go about doing it?
    thanks a lot! xxx

  16. Katharine - I grew up with agas, lucky you - I miss ours. I reckon it'll be fine - the meringue should just dry out as usual - you often cook them for ages. Check with a long skewer through the meringue to see if the cake has cooked after 15 minutes as the temp might well be different but I reckon it'll be just fine in the baking oven if you have one or the bottom half of your roasting oven (check earlier). Do tell me how it goes as I'd love to know if aga cooking changes it :)


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