Luscious Strawberry Meringue Sponge Cake
There is nothing that is more nostalgic and tastes of the sweet essence of summer than luscious red strawberries nestled in an ethereal cloud of cream, sandwiched between two buttery layers of sponge cake,crowned with an unexpected peak of frothy meringue which is baked directly on top of the cake batter. This dessert is easy to make, elegant to present and delicious to eat with a cup of iced tea made from old-fashioned Orange Pekoe. Bon Appetit!
Strawberry Meringue Sponge Cake
Serves 6 to 8
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
4 tsps. cornstarch
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ cups sugar
7 tbsp. softened butter
4 eggs separated
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. grated orange zest
2 tbsp. milk
½ cup sugar (for cream and strawberries)
1 2/3 cups whipping cream
1 pint strawberries
Preheat oven to 380, line two 8” spring form pans with parchment paper. Sift together cornstarch, flour and baking powder. Cream ½ cup of the sugar with the butter until it is pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and fold-in the sifted dry ingredients, then stir-in the milk. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and 1 cup sugar to form soft peaks.
Divide batter between the two tins and spread the tops with the meringue. Bake for 30 -35 minutes on the center rack, test for doneness with a toothpick. Let cakes cool in their pans, before assembling the cake.
To serve: clean, hull and quarter strawberries, macerate in ¼ cup sugar, beat cream with ¼ cup sugar until firm, remove cakes from tin and fill with strawberries and cream.
Variation: for a tropical theme substitute lime zest for orange in the cake batter, top meringues with coconut flakes and fill cake with a mix of tropical fruit macerated in 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice.
Recipe and photo contributed by Loretta White, a food columnist based-in Chester, Nova Scotia. For more of Loretta's recipes visit Food for Thought at www.southshoreclipper.com
Complementary Wines: Fruit Wine: Strawberry, Mojito: rum, lime juice, sugar, mint, Tea: Darjeeling, Vin Santo
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