Recipe 4: Squidgy chestnut meringue cake

February 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Posted in baking | 3 Comments
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One of the pleasures of Sunday is having people over for lunch… so I had invited a crowd. The first course was easy – roast pork, Jamie Oliver’s potatoes roasted in balsamic vinegar and a few vegetables, which gave me an opportunity to try out a new recipe for dessert. One of the guests is gluten intolerant, which sent me looking at my new “Seriously Good Gluten-Free Cooking” book – and the one that caught my eye was a layered confection of meringue and cream whipped with chestnut puree – it looked a little different from my usual flourless chocolate cake (I’ve realised so far that my baking exploits for this blog have been chocolate based) so I thought i would give it a go!

Making it:  There were two parts to the making- the meringue and the cream. I’m not hugely practised at making meringue – but is it simple in concept – whisk egg whites still stiff, slowly add sugar and a few other bits and pieces and whisk together until big, smooth and glossy. Smooth out onto a baking tray and bake at a low temperature for a while. The cream was a total doddle – the hardest part was opening the can of chestnut puree – then it was just a case of whisking til thick.

But when it got to construction it got more tricky… I’d obviously not cooked the meringue for long enough – so instead of being a crisp layer it was rather soggy – but still managed to fall apart. Instead of neat sheets of meringue, I had a series of jigsaw pieces. But I assembled it as best I could. Before serving I dusted it with icing sugar and cocoa powder which always makes things look more professional and hide some of the cracks!

Eating it: to be honest I thought it was rather dull. After a couple of hours in the fridge (as suggested in the recipe) instead of being squidgy layers of meringue the middle layers had melted into the cream. I’d been a bit heavy handed on the rum (replacing the irish cream in the cream layers) and that was the strongest flavour. But the proof is in the eating – and most people seemed to demolish it pretty quickly!

Next time: I think I will try something else.



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  1. Yum. It still sounds delish. I do not eat chocolate, so I appreciate your non-chocolate attempt. I saw another recipe a while back calling for canned or jared chestnuts – never heard of them until then.
    It is true that even is a desert doesn’t look pretty people will still eat it!!

  2. Hay Sarah 🙂 I’ve just got Phil Vickery’s recipe book and it is the best I’ve found for gluten free cooking. I love the borlotti bean pasta bake recipe…in fact I made it for tea this evening. I’ve not tried a lot of the recipes yet. The meringue looks delicious so maybe that should be next on my list 🙂

    • Thanks for the visit – and the comment. Good luck with the meringue – I assume you are a neater cook than me! Let me know how you get on.

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