Smothered in orange-flavoured whipped cream, layered with meringues and garnished with nuts, this meringue cake, from our Holiday Baking: Sweet & Savoury special issue makes a show-stopping finale.
- Portion size 10 servings
- 2 1/4 cups toasted pecans or walnuts
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 9 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 sliced orange or kumquat
- 1 handful fresh mint leaves
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 3/4 cups sifted icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice
- 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or greased and floured foil. Using 8-inch (20 cm) cake pan as guide, draw 2 circles on each paper; set sheets aside.
In food processor, finely grind together 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) of the pecans, 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the sugar and cornstarch; set aside.
In bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining sugar, 2 tbsp (25 mL) at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form; beat in vanilla. Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture; using rubber spatula, fold into egg whites. Repeat with remaining nut mixture.
Divide meringue mixture among circles on sheets; spread to fill circles. Bake in centre of 275°F (140°C) oven until tops are firm to the touch, 60 to 75 minutes, rotating and switching pans halfway through.
Using sharp knife and same cake pan as guide, trim meringues into even circles while still hot. Slide long metal spatula under meringues to loosen; transfer to wire rack and let cool. (Make-ahead: Store separated by waxed paper in airtight container for up to 1 week.)
Orange Cream: In bowl, whip together cream, sugar and liqueur; stir in orange rind. Centre 1 meringue layer on serving plate. Place strips of waxed paper underneath meringue to protect plate from splatters. Sandwich meringues with two-thirds of the orange cream. Spread remaining cream over top and side.
Chop remaining pecans; press onto side of cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 8 hours.) Remove waxed paper. Garnish with orange and mint. To serve, slice with serrated knife.
Nutritional facts <b>Per serving:</b> about
- Sodium 65 mg
- Protein 6 g
- Calories 517.0
- Total fat 36 g
- Cholesterol 61 mg
- Saturated fat 12 g
- Total carbohydrate 46 g
- Iron 5.0
- Folate 4.0
- Calcium 5.0
- Vitamin A 18.0
- Vitamin C 2.0