Posts Tagged ‘Meringues’

Meringue Layered Cake with Whipped Cream and Mixed Berries

In our Irish home there’s only one type of cake that’s served at birthday celebrations:  meringue. Serve it “traditional-style” and you’re rolling the meringue around a luscious layer of cream and berries…serve it “contemporary-style” and you’re sandwiching mixed berries and cream between layers of crisp meringue. Either way, this cake is always delicious and always a show-stopper.

One point to clarify…for anyone that’s interested…is this: a meringue is not a pavlova. There is a difference. After hotly debating this with someone recently, I did some research. Here are the facts:

A meringue is a simple and pure mixture of whisked egg whites and sugar. A crisp meringue is most usually a French meringue, where the egg whites are whisked and then caster sugar is incorporated. These meringues are baked at a low heat for a long period of time, whereby they are effectively “dried out” rather than “cooked”. A perfect Irish meringue is crisp on the outside, yet not as crisp as a French meringue, and chewy in the middle.

A pavlova, on the other hand, is a type of meringue, especially noted for its marshmallow-like centre. It is made with the addition of cornflour {cornstarch} and, frequently, vinegar.

In our home, meringue cake {roulade or layered} is nearly always made with raspberries, blackberries and strawberries…but it would be glorious with homemade lemon curd or, given the season that’s about to be, homemade wild elderberry curd! In the summer months, I am partial to substituting kiwi, pineapple and bananas for the usual berries…but my family disagree…they always prefer berries to anything else.

Whatever way you make it, I think you’re going to  this recipe!

~ XoK

Meringue Layer Cake

Serves 8


6 large egg whites

12oz sugar {caster}

500ml cream, whipped

1kilo mixed fruit, cut into bite-size pieces

Directions for Making Meringue

1. Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F. Line three baking trays with parchment paper and, using a pencil, draw one circle, 20cm/8-inch, on each piece of parchment paper. {I used a cake tin for this.} Flip the parchment paper over so the pencil circle is facing down towards the baking tray.

2. Beat the egg whites and half the sugar using an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar, continuing to whisk until the meringue forms stiff peaks. To test: lift the beater out of the meringue and turn upside down. If the meringue peak holds its shape you are done.

3. Divide the meringue evenly between the three circles and, using an offset spatula, form a circular shape with a smooth top.

4. Bake meringues for 40- 45 minutes, or until dry to the touch. If your oven is not big enough to bake all three meringues at the same time or you don’t have a second oven, make a third of the recipe at a time and bake each layer individually. I have two ovens, so I bake two meringue layers in one and the third layer in the second oven. I keep a close eye on the oven with the two meringues: if they are not cooking evenly, I swap the shelves.

5. When they are done, remove the meringues from oven and cool completely on cooling racks.

Directions for Assembling

1. Very gently lift one meringue layer off of the parchment paper and place on a flat serving plate. Top with one-third the whipped cream, and sprinkle with one-third the fruit.

2. Repeat for second layer.

3. For the top layer, again gently lift the third meringue off of the parchment paper and place on the cake, cover with the last of the whipped cream and the last of the fruit. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* It’s a bit of a needle in a haystack, but it’s so worth it: Darina Allen’a lemon curd recipe here.

** I worship at the feet of Yotam Ottolenghi’s meringues. Here is his devine recipe!




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Gathering round the evening campfire.

Gathering round the evening campfire.

It has been several weeks since I last blogged but you’ll understand when I explain that our traveling four-some has been deep in foreign-language country.

Technically we were in north-west Minnesota, at a camp run by Concordia Language Villages, but the immersion of the camp was so deep that we might as well have been abroad. From food to spoken word, we were in another world.

Language learning through crafts.

Language learning through crafts.

So how was it? It was wonderful. Interestingly, each of us had a different experience. The two girls seemed to thrive because they did what all kids do…they just got out there and spent time with their peers. With no real effort, their language proficiency grew with each passing day.  And God bless my dad, after three years of taking a foreign language at his local university, he had no problems whatsoever with the cultural shift. He found the adult group talks about politics, religion, and social issues a very pleasant and invigorating way to test his skills. Getting sick mid-way through the camp didn’t even set him back much. As for me…I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride of exhaustion and breakthroughs the entire time. For a few days, I was fine and then, suddenly, I was unable to think or speak. Our camp administrator said this was a perfectly normal adult reaction to full language immersion. In other words, “Don’t give up, Love.”  Sure enough, about every three days, I hit a wall and then, after a good night sleep, was able to translate words in my head and speak them with relative ease.

Camp counselors hamming it up.

Camp counselors hamming it up.

If you’re not familiar with Concordia Language Villages, here’s the scoop: Concordia is the premiere language and cultural immersion program in the United States. For 50 years they have helped learners develop a deeper appreciation and skill base for going out into the non-English-speaking cultures of the world. Concordia offers courses in 15 different languages and uses skits, songs, meals, games, activities, class sessions and general conversation as their teaching methods. From the minute you check into a camp, you feel as though you have left the United States and entered into the country whose language you wish to learn. There are programs for youths, adults, and families, and classes are available year round.

Remarkably, few people have heard of Concordia. Case in point, while we were staying in Detroit Lakes we mentioned to people that we were on our way to a foreign immersion camp nearby. No one we spoke with knew there was a clutch of foreign language schools just a few hours away! Such a pity.

Meringues (14)If you’re interested in a foreign language immersion experience that isn’t in the Gaeltacht (the Irish-speaking region of Ireland), perhaps Concordia Language Villages is the place for you. We certainly enjoyed it.

And, speaking of things this Irish family enjoys…today I am passing along this easy-to-make recipe for mini-meringues. They keep well for weeks in an airtight container or ziplock bag and are a great snack in the kid’s lunch boxes or for when you want a little something sweet with a cuppa. They even make an adorable pudding (dessert) when served sandwich-style with a dollop of cream, caramel or jam between two of them. Mmmmhhh….wish we’d brought some along for this road trip. Enjoy!


Makes 24


2 egg whites, room temperature

½ cup/4oz/100g caster sugar (granulated sugar)


1. Preheat oven to 225°F/110°C. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper (parchment paper).

2. In a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks. (You know you’ve whipped it enough when the mixture holds a stiff  a peak that looks like shaving foam.)

3. Using two teaspoons, spoon 24 little blobs on the greaseproof paper. Bake for 40 minutes or until crisp. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven for another 5 minutes, if you like your meringues crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, or 20 minutes, if you like them crispy inside and out.

4. When completely cool, put in an airtight container. Meringues will keep for weeks.

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