We were absolutely delighted to collaborate with the Meringue Girls on our October box. This mega box is jam packed full with all the magic you need to create their beautiful Eton Mess Layer Cake taken from their latest book ‘Everything Sweet’ (get your copy here) – just add a few fresh bits and hey presto – you will have yourselves an absolute beauty!
So, crack open your Bakes box and start creating this masterpiece! Share your creations by tagging us on Instagram, and we will share the best ones… as an added bonus this month the Meringue Girls will also be keeping an eye out and will send a copy of Everything Sweet to the best one – so don’t forget to tag them too using @meringuegirls (check their beaut instagram here)
Now go and bake…. enjoy!! x
Image credit: David Loftus
(a few more bits than usual, but well worth it!)
3 egg whites
4 whole eggs
1tbsp whole milk
300g fresh raspberries
– ETON MESS LAYER CAKE –
This is one of our signature cakes. Moist, spongy, creamy, crunchy, tart, meringue-y goodness. Layers of victoria sponge, sandwiched with eton mess cream, topped with kisses, gold leaf raspberries, fresh mint sprigs and pipettes of coulis, to drizzle and drip. Ideal for your ghoulish halloween party!
– Serves 6 –
FOR THE MERINGUES:
90g egg whites (3 eggs) // 180g caster sugar // pink food colouring gel // 1 tbsp of freezedried raspberry powder, crushed finely in your hands into a dust (keep the rest of the pieces whole for the decoration)
FOR THE SPONGE
200g softened unsalted butter // 200g caster sugar // 4 eggs // 200g self-raising flour 1/4 tsp baking powder // 1 tbsp whole milk // 1 tsp vanilla extract
FOR THE COULIS
200g ripe strawberries or raspberries chopped into small pieces // 15g caster sugar
FOR THE ETON MESS CREAM
300ml double cream // 75g fresh raspberries, squished to a rough pulp with a fork 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped // (add crumbled meringues)
freeze-dried raspberry pieces // pink meringue kisses, a range of sizes // a handful of fresh raspberries edible gold leaf // mint sprigs // a pipette filled with extra coulis, to drizzle & drip
Make your meringue girls mixture, and make some pink raspberry meringue kisses.
1) start by lining a large flat baking tray with baking paper. Preheat oven to 200c. Line a roasting tray with baking paper,
2) pour in caster sugar and put it in the oven for about 5 minutes so that it’s hot to the touch. Heating the sugar helps to create a glossy, stable mixture. Meanwhile, crack the egg whites into your freestanding mixer with whisk attachment, alternatively in a glass bowl with an electric whisk. Make sure your bowl and whisk are free from grease. At first whisk slowly allowing small stabilising bubbles to form, then increase the speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks. The sugar should be ready to take out of the oven at this point. Turn your oven down to 100°c.
Image credit David Loftus
3) while you whisk at full speed, very slowly, spoon by spoon, add the hot sugar to the meringue mixture. Once you have added all of the sugar, continue to whisk on full speed for about 5-7 minutes. Feel a bit of the mixture between your fingers, if you can still feel the gritty sugar keep whisking at full speed until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth, stiff and glossy.
4) to flavour your mixture, fold through your crushed raspberry powder, carefully trying not to knock out any of the lovely volume you have created. To colour the kisses turn your disposable piping bag inside out. Place over a jug or bottle so that it holds itself. Use your pink food colouring and the paint brush to paint thick stripes from the tip of your piping bag to half way down the bag (about 5 stripes).
5) turning the piping bag right side out, and fold back the rim of the bag, carefully spoon your stiff mixture. You need to pack the meringue mixture in tightly, ensuring there are no air bubbles. With sharp scissors, cut the tip of the piping bag to the size of a 50p coin. To get the piping bag flowing, use some of the mixture to pipe small dollops on to the four corners of your 2 baking sheets, and stick down your baking paper securely in place. You are ready to start piping!
Image credit David Loftus
6) hold the piping bag with two hands; place your dominant hand at the top of the piping bag and your other hand half way down the bag. You must ensure that there is pressure at the top on the bag. Use the hand that is half way down the piping bag to control the flow of the kisses. Squeeze the bag (like an udder) to form the kisses. Try piping meringue kisses of various sizes – don’t worry if they aren’t all perfect, as you can crush the imperfect ones for your eton mess cream!
7) bake at 100c for 40-45 mins until the bases come off the baking paper cleanly. Once cooled, keep the best-looking ones for decoration, and crush up the rest. The meringues keep well for 1 week in a biscuit tin
Make the cake
Turn your oven to 180°c/gas 3.
Grease a 18cm round cake tin and line with non-stick baking paper. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time. The mixture may start to look split, but don’t worry.
Add the flour, baking powder, milk and the vanilla extract and beat together until you have a smooth, soft batter. Spoon the mixture into your tin, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon, and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.
Turn it out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Once cool, cut the cake in half horizontally . You can bake, cool and clingfilm the sponge the day before you want to assemble the cake.
Make the coulis
put the fresh berries and sugar into a pan over a gentle heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the fruit breaks down. Push through a sieve using the back of a spoon, and set aside to cool completely.
You can make this up to 2 days in advance. Fill your pipette straight after you have made the coulis, and set some aside for the final drip decoration.
To make the eton mess cream
whisk the cream until medium peaks are formed. Set aside a small bowl of the whipped cream for the finishing icing. With the remaining coulis, swirl this into your bowl of cream carefully. Fold in the crushed meringues, the squished fresh raspberries and the chopped mint so that everything is just mixed, and tastes delicious. To assemble place a layer of sponge on your serving plate and spread a layer of eton mess cream over the top and place the other half on top.
To ice the cake
use a palette knife to spread a very thin layer of your reserved whipped cream all over the sides of the cake – so that it is ‘seminaked’ and the lovely eton mess layers can still be seen. Spread a thicker layer of cream on top. Arrange some whole meringue kisses around the edge in the shape of a crescent, then scatter with crushed meringues, sprinklings of freeze dried raspberry, sprigs of fresh mint and whole raspberries decorated with gold leaf. Drizzle the remaining coulis over the top of the cake and allow it to drip over the edges.
Image credit David Loftus
– recipe halved from original recipe in ‘everything sweet’ which serves 12 –