Meringue Dream Cake with hazelnut cream
I know you like simple desserts and for that reason today I bring you this Meringue dream cake with hazelnut cream. When you see it, I’m sure you’ll think – «Mmm, it doesn’t seem easy to me»-. Yes, I assure you that in spite of its appearance, it is a very simple elaboration that results in a dessert with a very attractive and attractive appearance.
It is also very versatile because it allows us to decorate it and fill it with everything we can think of. In my case I have opted for hazelnuts Swiss Meringue Buttercream filling. But you can change for what you like. From whipped cream, mousse, ice cream… Even fresh fruits with cream and nuts or caramelized nuts… Do you see how it offers many possibilities?
This lovely dessert is from the book «Praliné» de Stéphane Leroux, but I knew it thanks to the blog of Andy Chef. I fell in love with its elegance, simplicity and the combination of textures and flavors. Not to mention its wonderful presentation… Although it seems very laborious, it is quite simple to carry out.
Hazelnuts Swiss Meringue Buttercream filling for which I have used Frangelico and Nutella®. In this way we will be able to enhance a lot of flavour and also give it colour. The recipe I have followed for the filling is from the book “Baking and Pastry”, that you already know is a MUST to me.
It’s not a pavlova…
It is probable that when you see that it is elaborated with meringue and baked, the Pavlova comes to mind. But it has nothing to do with it. The inside of the Pavlova is usually very tender inside and crunchy outside. In our case we need a dry, crunchy meringue that allows us to manipulate and fill it.
For that same reason we will have to take into account the filling that we are going to use and when we are going to serve it. If the filling is very wet, it will reach the meringue and soften it. So if you use a filling of this type, we will have to fill it just before serving.
But if, on the contrary, we use a filling like the one I leave you, there will be no problem in leaving it prepared in advance. The reason is that the humidity it has is very low and will not affect the texture of the meringue.
A simple and surprising dessert.
With only a few egg whites and sugar, you will be able to make a dessert with which I am sure you will surprise at home. It is a simple meringue, without syrup, which we will whip and place in a water-bath to encourage it to set and be firm. This won’t take more than 10 minutes. Then we place the meringue in a tray, remove the edges and that’s it.
The only thing that requires more time is the meringue baking/drying process. But this is something that is done alone, you may be doing other things while it is being prepared. I know… It’s got it all!
Ingredients for 2 pieces
FRO THE DREAM CAKE (2 pieces):
- 150 g egg whites
- 300 g icing sugar
FOR HAZELNUTS SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:
- 130 g egg whites
- 250 g sugar
- 320 g unsalted butter at room temperature, about 66º-68ºF / 19º-20ºC
- 4 tsp Frangelico
- 70 g Nutella®
- toasted hazelnuts
- edible gold leaf
- edible golden dust
Prepare the template.
- On a sheet of baking paper, draw a rectangle 18 cm wide by 13.5 cm high. Leave a margin of 2 cm on each side.
- The length of the paper should be between 30-40 cm.
- Draw the rectangle as close as possible to one of the sides in order to have leftover paper in the part behind it. The reason is that, afterwards, we will need to roll it up to place the meringue on it (helping us with a small roller or cardboard from a roll of aluminium foil or film) and give it a circular shape.
- We must leave very little paper on top. The reason is that when you roll the paper with the meringue, if there is a surplus of paper, it will remain inside the cylinder once baked. Nothing happens, you can take it out, but we run the risk of breaking the meringue.
- We will need to make two paper templates and two cardboard rolls a little longer than 13.5 cm and a diameter of 5 cm. In my case, I used a wooden roller and a cardboard of aluminium foil.
Prepare the meringue for the cake.
- Fill a saucepan with water, it should not contain too much, enough to heat the bowl that we will place on it but without the water touching the bowl. Otherwise it will cook the egg whites and our purpose is to transmit heat to curdle them a little while we assemble them and improve their consistency.
- In a heat-resistant bowl add the egg whites. Begin to whip the egg whites at the lowest speed. When they start to foam, add the icing sugar little by little and whipping at the same time.
- Once we have all the icing sugar incorporated, continue whipping until obtainingsoft peaks.
- Place the bowl over the saucepan in the water-bath and continue whipping until the meringue gets firm peaks, it will take about 5 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and put it in a piping bag with a simple 2 cm in diameter tip.
Place the meringue in the tray.
- Begin to place the meringue on the template diagonally trying to exert the same pressure. The meringue strips must be joined together, without holes.
- We will try to stand out a little of the template that we have made in the paper with the merengue.
- With the help of a scraper or spatula, remove the excess meringue from the four sides until we reach the marks we made on the baking paper. The meringue will stay in place, otherwise we will not have whipped it enough.
- With the help of a cardboard tube, wrapped in aluminum foil, begin to roll it into the baking paper. If the baking paper moves or slides too much, you can fix it to the tube with a little cellophane.
- Once we have all the paper rolled in the tube, we will place the meringue on the cardboard tube. For it, we will continue rolling and this will be placed alone.
- Once we have the meringue in the tube, place on a perforated tray lined with baking paper.
- Repeat the process with the other meringue cake.
- Preheat oven to 155ºF/70ºC.
- Sprinkle ground hazelnuts over meringue.
- Place in the oven at medium height and cook for 4 hours.
- When it takes about 3 hours, in my case, I removed the cardboard tubes, the baking paper and left in the oven for another hour to promote internal drying.
- To remove the cardboard and the paper, you have to slide very carefully and it will come out by itself.
- Before turning off the oven, check that the meringue is completely dry.
- Take it out and let it rest on the tray until the next day and at room temperature. If it is very wet, keep them inside the oven.
Make hazelnuts Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
- In a heat-resistant bowl, add the egg whites along with the sugar.
- Place on a water-bath at medium low heat. Stirring constantly, leave until the egg whites reach 165ºF/74ºC. For it we will help ourselves of a digital thermometer.
- Remove from the heat, pour the egg whites into the bowl of the KitchenAid or a stand mixer and whip at medium high speed until a firm and shiny meringue is obtained.
- Once we have the firm meringue, begin to add the butter cut into squares little by little and at the same time the mixer continues whipping.
- Once we have all the butter added, increase the speed and finish whipping.
- Stop, scrap the cream with the help of a spatula and add the Frangelico together with the Nutella®.
- Whip again at high speed until the ingredients are completely integrated.
- Put the Swiss Meringue Buttercream into a piping bag with a curled tip. In my case, I used Wilton's 6B.
Fill and decorate.
- Fill the inside of the cakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
- Decorate the outside with some hazelnuts. Fix them with a some cream to stick them on the surface.
- Decorate with gold leaf and sprinkle with edible golden powder.
- Serve immediately.
- To keep the meringue in perfect condition, we must dry it very well in the oven. Time may vary in your ovens, observe how they evolve.
- If we dry the meringue very well, we can prepare it in advance or even keep it (without filling) for several days.
- The meringue can be flavored with vanilla. In that case, you will have to add the extract or essence once you have the meringue ready. Add the aroma and whip again for a few seconds to distribute it evenly.
- You can use the nuts you want; hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews... Even in the filling. Dress the cream with caramelized nuts... Amazing.
- The filling can be anything you like. In my case I have made a hazelnuts Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but you can make other flavors, use whipped cream, cream with cocoa, ice cream, fruits ...
This Meringue Dream Cake with hazelnut cream is a perfect dessert for those who like meringue and different sweets treats. I have to admit that I had wanted to do it for a long time, I found it very attractive and eye-catching! The meringue prepared in that way, dry, with a cream on the inside... I was looking forward to putting it into practice.
At home we liked it a lot, although I have to admit that it is a blunt sweet. You can't even eat the whole cake. It's ideal to share among many! In fact I think it's a perfect dessert to share in the middle of the table. Break the meringue and enjoy both textures.
In summer I already plan to do something with ice cream and another with fruit. I thought it was really great to serve dessert.
I wish you a wonderful weekend, see you on Monday!