It’s not a secret anymore! Today is the November reveal day for Group A in The Secret Recipe Club. The club has gotten so big that there are now four groups that each post on certain Mondays of each month! It is fun to be assigned (randomly) a different blog each month—some you already know and some are new to you/me. It’s a great opportunity to find new recipes and try them out. Enough chit-chat you’re thinking. Fine, I’ll get to this month’s blog/recipe!
The blog I was secretly assigned this month is Dee’s blog, Deelicious Sweets. This was a newly discovered blog for me and I was happy to spend time browsing around. Dee and her husband and two kids live in St. Louis, Missouri and she used to have a baking business called Deelicious Sweets, but needed to put that aside to be more available as a wife/mother, so she started a blog to share all her sweets and recipes with the world. But she doesn’t only post sweets because I just saw a new post for some great looking tomato soup as well as other great looking savory food.
There were a number of recipes I wanted to pick to make, but settled on this Raspberry Hazelnut Meringue Cake (except I couldn’t find hazelnuts around here close by, so I used almonds). The cake intrigued me with it being a meringue and I loved the look of it with so many fresh raspberries. It’s gluten free as well, since there is no flour in the cake. It’s simply egg whites, sugar, some flavoring and ground nuts. My cake is not as thick as Dee’s since the recipe says to use 8 inch round cake pans and I only have 9 inch pans.
I could have pressed the top cake down onto the bottom more, but I didn’t want to smash those beautiful red raspberries. As I mentioned, since I couldn’t get some hazelnuts, I used almond meal that I already have. The recipe with the hazelnuts, has you roast them to get the skins to peel off, then grind them up in the food processor. My method of just using almond meal/flour worked great and was not as time consuming. Though I do think hazelnuts would have been delicious!
The cake is chilled for an hour before serving, which just happened to be the amount it got in the refrigerator when I made it, but I think it could and should be chilled for even longer. Maybe the meringue is supposed to be crispy, but I liked when it was chilled for a couple hours and made it just a little less crispy. The most difficult part of the whole cake was slicing it nicely without the whipped cream and berries sliding out. But that didn’t stop it from tasting great!
Here’s the recipe as I adapted it, but be sure to check out Dee’s cake made with hazelnuts and her blog for a lot more “deeliciousness”! Dee got this recipe from a 2001 publication of Baking—Easy To Make Great Home Bakes. She found it at an antique mall to add to her cookbook collection. I love that kind of thing—even though 2001 would not be considered antique. ;)
Raspberry Almond Meringue Cake, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, from Deelicious Sweets
1 cup almond meal/flour (100 grams or 3 1/2 ounces)
4 large egg whites (130 grams or 4 1/2 ounces)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 pints fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter the bottom of two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Butter the paper and sides of the pan. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt with the wire whisk attachment on high speed until they form stiff peaks. While they are beating, add two tablespoons of the sugar. Once they have formed stiff peaks, turn off mixer and fold in the remaining sugar a few tablespoons at a time with a rubber spatula. Then fold in the vanilla and almond meal.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and spread level.
Bake for 50-60 minutes for the 9 inch pans or 1 1/4 hours for the 8 inch pans. If the meringue seems to be browning too much, cover it lightly with foil. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes then carefully run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen. Transfer to the rack to cool completely.
While cake is cooling, beat the cream on high speed, add the powdered sugar gradually as well as the vanilla and continue to beat until fluffy. Spread half of the whipped cream in an even layer on one meringue round. Top it with half the raspberries.
Place the other meringue cake on top of the cake layered with whipped cream and berries. Spread the remaining cream on top and arrange the rest of the raspberries over the cream. Refrigerate for a few hours, covered with plastic wrap. Slice with a serrated knife.