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OUMA MARIA’S MERINGUE CAKE

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When Easter is just around the corner, I’m always reminded of my Ouma Maria pulling all the stops for our family feast. My Oupa always thought the word meringue to be so smart, he would over-pronounce it, which made him seem a lot more “elegant” than I believe he intended. This meringue cake – with its crispy shell and soft interior – was always a highlight at our Easter table.

baking time: 1 hour | serves: 10

INGREDIENTS

for the cake base

125 g (135 ml) soft butter

80 g (95 ml) caster sugar

3 egg yolks

140 g (250 ml) cake flour

10 ml baking powder

125 ml milk

100 g walnuts, chopped

for the meringue

4 egg whites

210 g (250 ml) caster sugar

 

to finish the cake

500 ml cream, stiffly beaten

walnuts to garnish

METHOD

for the cake base

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the base of two 23 cm spring form cake tins with baking paper and spray with non-stick edible food spray.

Place the butter in the mixing bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with an artisan flat beater. Gradually add the sugar and beat until soft and creamy.

Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition.

Sieve the flour and baking powder together, then add the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with milk.

Pour the batter into the prepared tins and sprinkle each cake with walnuts.

for the meringue

Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Gradually add the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the sugar dissolves. After all the sugar has been added, beat for another 3 minutes.

Divide the meringue between the two cakes and spoon on top of the cake mixture.

Place in the oven. After 15 minutes, place a piece of tin foil on top of each cake tin to make sure the meringue does not bake too dark. Bake for another 15 minutes – 30 minutes in total.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the tins for about 15 minutes before carefully removing them from the tins.

to finish the cake

Place one cake (meringue side on top) on your serving plate and top with the stiffly beaten cream. Place the other cake on top and spoon the rest of the cream on top.

Garnish with walnuts.

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