This classic meringue is served with plums, strawberries and figs.
Preheat the oven to 110°C/220°F/gas mark ½. Draw 4 x 20cm/8” circles using a cake tin as a template, on 4 sheets of silicone paper. Turn over and place on 4 flat baking sheets (or 2 large if you have a big enough oven.)
Make sure your bowl and whisk are very clean, free of grease and completely dry, as any water or grease will affect the meringue.
Place the egg whites in the bowl and whisk with a food mixer or an electric whisk on high speed, to soft peaks. Add 300g/11oz of the sugar continuing to whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy. You should hear the machine dropping down a gear as it gets to the correct consistency.
Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle and pipe a little onto the back of each sheet of silicone paper to secure the paper to the tray. Pipe a disc of meringue onto each template, starting in the centre and working out. Flatten the top of the meringue with a wet palette knife to give a smooth top. Place in the oven for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and cool fully before using.
Place the cream and vanilla bean paste in a bowl, and whisk with a food mixer or an electric whisk on high speed, to soft peaks.
Place one disc of meringue on a cake stand or large serving plate and spread with a third of the cream then scatter one quarter of the sliced fruit over the top. Cover with another disc of meringue, then repeat with a layer of cream, fruit, another meringue disc and the last of the cream and half the remaining fruit. Finish with the last meringue disc then decorate with the last of the fruit.
Heat the last 100g/3½ oz caster sugar in a pan until golden brown and liquid all the way through. Add the flaked almonds and stir to combine then drizzle over the top of the gateau.
Chill for 1 hour before serving.
Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)
Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
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