This cake is a stunning celebration of summer. At the peak of the strawberry season the best strawberries have intense fragrance and flavour. In this recipe they are layered with coconut meringue and mascarpone to make a beautiful dessert.
- 500 g strawberries
- 380 g egg whites
- 130 g caster sugar
- 280 g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 60 g almond meal
- 140 g desiccated coconut
- 120 g shredded coconut
- 1 kg mascarpone
- 150 g caster sugar
- 3 eggs, separated
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: overnight
To make the coconut meringue, preheat oven to 150ºC. Place egg whites in an electric mixer and whisk, adding the caster sugar a little at a time, until firm peaks form. Fold icing sugar in with your hand.
Combine almond meal with both coconuts and gently fold in until well combined. It’s important to do this slowly but efficiently in order to maintain volume. Spread onto 3 large baking sheets or trays (at least 26 cm wide) greased and lined with non-stick baking paper, dust with a little extra icing sugar and bake for 30 minutes.
When cool cut out three discs, each one 26 cm in diameter.
To make the mascarpone filling. Place mascarpone, 100 g of caster sugar and egg yolks in an electric mixer and whisk until firm. In a separate bowl whisk egg whites with the remaining 50 g caster sugar until firm peaks form. Take ½ of the meringue and fold into mascarpone mix to soften it, then fold in remainder of meringue.
To assemble, hull strawberries and cut in half. Place the first meringue disc on a board and enclose with a cake ring. Fill with ½ of the mascarpone mix. Press ½ the strawberries into this mix. Place a second meringue disc over this mix and cover with remainder of mascarpone and strawberries. Top with final meringue and refrigerate overnight. Remove the ring.
Before serving, dust with some extra icing sugar and caramelise with a blowtorch.