Peach and blackberry meringue crown cake
Treat yourself with this summer-perfect dish of fresh fruit and frothy meringue. A topping of peach and blackberry makes for a deliciously delicate dessert that's also packed with real zing.
Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Lightly butter the insides of two, 20cm (8 in) springform cake tins and line the bases and sides with non-stick baking paper.
Have two large mixing bowls and a handheld electric whisk ready. Crack the two whole eggs into one bowl and add the two egg yolks. Put the two egg whites into the second bowl and set aside with the whisk. Measure out 100g caster sugar into a separate, small bowl and have it ready.
Beat the whole eggs and egg yolks together with a wooden spoon and add the remaining 200g caster sugar, along with the soft butter, vanilla extract, milk and flour. Beat for about 1 minute, until a smooth batter forms, and divide evenly between the prepared tins.
Quickly whisk the egg whites in the second bowl until stiff peaks form. Continue to whisk and gradually add the 100g caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk for 1-2 minutes after all the sugar has been added to make a stiff and shiny meringue. Carefully spoon this on top of one of the uncooked sponges in a separate layer, spreading it almost to the edges of the tin with a spatula and making peaks in the top of the meringue. Slide both tins into the centre of the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
Remove the tin containing the bare sponge, which should be golden, springy and risen, and turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Continue to cook the meringue-topped sponge for a further 25-30 minutes, until the meringue is pale golden and a skewer inserted down into the centre of the cake part comes out clean. Carefully undo the tin and transfer the cake to the wire rack to cool, meringue-side upwards so that it doesn’t get squashed.
Once the cakes are cool, make the filling by briefly whisking the fromage frais, cream and sugar together in a mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Turn the bare sponge upside down on a serving plate, so the flat base is uppermost, and spread with the fromage frais mixture. Scatter the blackberries and sliced peaches over then carefully sit the second cake on top, with the meringue layer uppermost like a crown. Cut into slices with a serrated knife to serve.
Tip: Vary the fruit filling in this impressive, meringue-topped cake as the seasons change. Plums and figs are excellent, as are summer berries and cherries.
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As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.
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