A tale of two best friends on opposite sides of the world and their quest to cook everything from
Stephanie Alexander's 'The Cook's Companion'

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nut Meringue Cake With Passionfruit Curd

Stephanie's Nut Meringue Cake. I made this because with a bit of clever thinking, it was easily gluten-free. My sister-in-law has a gluten-free diet, and it's nice to share foods that she can also enjoy. I just ensure that I buy gluten-free cornflour now, which is a slightly different colour to the one I used to use, but definitely has the same properties and function. I think it's the White Wings one that I use now. I had some passionfruit curd in the freezer - there is a story that goes with this too. My darling husband decided to have an early breakfast while I was showering yesterday. He came upstairs, stating proudly "Oh that passionfruit curd was yum!" It was 4 in the morning on Anzac Day. All I could say was "How much did you eat? That was supposed to be my filling for the cake" (Plus expletives) and "Since when do you eat stuff in the fridge without checking first?" It was probably the first time he did it, and I think it will never happen again. Poor bloke. Fortunately, I made the first layer a little thinner, and then I made do with what I had. It worked out ok.

Nut Meringue Cake (Printable Recipe)
adapted from Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion, pg 619

150g ground almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts (I used almond meal)
3 and 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
200g caster sugar
5 egg whites
60g toasted almond flakes for dressing
Passionfruit curd, recipe follows
Trace 20cm circles on 3 sheets of baking paper. Place these onto baking trays, then preheat the oven to 180°C. I used a saucepan lid to get the 20cm circle, but a plate would suffice.

Mix the ground almonds, 1/4 cup of the sugar and cornflour into a small bowl and set aside. Beat the egg whites until stiff using an electric mixer - I may have done the upside-down test here just to show off in front of the hubby. I thought it was fun, he wasn't even mildly impressed.

With the motor running, add the remaining caster sugar in 3 batches until the meringue mix looks glossy. Fold the dry mixture into the meringue lightly but thoroughly. Divide the mixture between the three baking trays and, colour in the circles with the mix. Bake for 20 minutes until they pick up a light biscuit colour. Allow to cool on trays for 5-15 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool properly.

The recipe suggests that you fill the meringue cake a day ahead, but I did it about 8 hours before eating and that was plenty. Spread 1/3 of the filling on the first layer of meringue, then repeat for the top two layers. Scatter the almonds on top and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Passionfruit Curd (Printable Recipe)
adapted from Stephanie's Lemon Curd, pg 554

4 egg yolks
2/3 cup caster sugar
60g unsalted butter
Pulp from approx 10 passionfruit

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until well combined but not frothy. I used a double boiler for this, and tried to be careful with it as have been easily distracted when making this before. Add the butter and passionfruit pulp and stir constantly until it thickens like a custard. I then put it in a sterilised jar, and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze it indefinitely. It didn't even taste like freezer!


Lea said...

Tasted divine too- Leanne

Adam said...

I especially enjoyed the Passionfruit Curd. You should make some more ;)