This strawberry meringue cake features layers of sweet cream and fresh strawberries sandwiched between thin rounds of homemade meringue. Serve this dessert in the springtime when strawberries are at their peak.
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar, divided
7 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 (8-oz.) containers mascarpone cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups whipping cream
4 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
Halved fresh strawberries
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven, and cool completely (about 10 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 250°.
Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 2 (8-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn paper over; secure with masking tape.
Process cornstarch, salt, toasted pecans, and 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor 40 to 45 seconds or until pecans are finely ground.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating at medium-high speed until mixture is glossy, stiff peaks form, and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes; do not overbeat). Add half of pecan mixture to egg white mixture, gently folding just until blended. Repeat procedure with remaining pecan mixture.
Gently spoon egg white mixture onto circles drawn on parchment paper (about 1 1/2 cups mixture per circle), spreading to cover each circle completely.
Bake at 250° for 1 hour, turning baking sheets after 30 minutes. Turn oven off; let meringues stand in closed oven with light on 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until surface is dry and meringues can be lifted from paper without sticking to fingers.
Just before assembling cake, stir together mascarpone cheese and vanilla in a large bowl just until blended.
Beat whipping cream at low speed until foamy; increase speed to medium-high, and gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. (Do not overbeat or cream will be grainy.) Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.
Carefully remove 1 meringue from parchment paper; place on a serving plate. Spread one-fourth mascarpone mixture (about 2 cups) over meringue; top with 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries. Repeat layers 2 times; top with remaining meringue, mascarpone mixture, and halved strawberries. Serve immediately, or chill up to 2 hours. Cut with a sharp, thin-bladed knife.
I've made this twice now and it was such a hit both times that I've been asked for the recipe. The only thing I did differently was to turn off the oven and let the meringues rest overnight before removing from the parchment the next morning. I prepped the meringue layers, cream filling, and sliced strawberries in advance, then transported, and assembled on site in about 5 minutes. I agree that the texture, and thus ease of cutting, changes depending upon how long the cake is assembled before cutting. Regardless, folks were scraping the plate to get the last delicious morsels! Can't wait to try this with other fruits, too, as another review recommended.
I have made this 3 or 4 times now. My new sister in law is a highly accomplished chef and she loved it so much she asked for the recipe. I always split the recipe into 2 larger meringues circles and just cook/dry them a bit longer. Much easier to slice.Its also my go to because my mother in law has a gluten allergy (even before it was popular, lol).
I suppose I am alone in my opinion. My son loves strawberries, and isn't a huge cake and frosting fan, so I thought I would make this for his birthday cake. Fortunately, I made a practice cake first. This cake takes a lot of time and effort and no one in my family liked it...even my son who will eat a pound of strawberries in one sitting. I highly suggest making a practice cake before serving for company or making for a special occasion.
Absolutly delicious! One of the best desserts I've had in a long time. I made a half recipe (with 4 egg whites - 2 layers) but followed the recipe exactly other than that! The only change I would make in the future would be to cut back on the amount of whipped cream a little and crush a portion of the strawberries to make it a little more juicy!
This was a spectacular cake to present at a party. It was easily assembled at the party, One must have a really SHARP, THIN knife, such as one used in shaving meat thinly. All loved the fact that we could not keep leftovers. No problem. Other fruits to use with or instead of strawberries - blueberries, kiwi, peaches, nectarines or a combo of them as I did. They loved the surprise flavors from the various fruits.