Topic: Recipes and Food
This recipe was given to me by a professional cook in a local restaurant where I worked for a while when we first moved to Chichester. I can guarantee that it is absolutely delicious. However, I must confess that I have never made it myself. The reason is that I am completely at sea with USA measurements and I have never had the courage to experiment! At home, I always use scales to weigh all cooking ingredients - preferably in ounces, although I am getting used to metric - that way I know that what I am making will always turn out the same. I believe an American Cup is equivalent to 8 liquid ounces. Fine, but not all ingredients have the same volume. How much is a tablespoon or a teaspoon? A quick search on the Internet gave me some U.S. volume equivalents but I am still confused! Perhaps you will be more at ease with the measurements than I am.
4 tablespoons butter
1½ cups very fine sugar
4 eggs, separated
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons light cream or milk
1/8 teaspoon salt (pinch of salt!)
2 tablespoons flaked unblanched almonds (flake from flat side with peeler or knife)
1 quart strawberries (plus sugar to sweeten)
1½ cups heavy cream, whipped, sweetened to taste
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Cream butter and ½ cup of sugar until very light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks very well, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla.
Sift flour together with the baking powder. Add half to creamed mixture along with the milk or cream, fold in gently. Fold in remaining flour mixture. Divide into two well-greased layer pans and spread into an even layer.
Beat the egg whites together with the salt until stiff but not dry. Beat in remaining sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until the meringue is dull and very stiff and no longer feels grainy when rubbed between the fingers.
Divide the meringue between the two pans and spread over the cake mixture carefully with a spatula. Leave the surface rough. Sprinkle the almonds over the meringue in only one of the pans.
Bake about 45 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned, puffed and crisp. Cool on a rack.
Slice the strawberries, reserving eight whole for decorating, and sprinkle with sugar to taste. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
Fold sweetened sliced strawberries into the whipped cream and use as a filling between the cake layers. The almond layer should be on top.
Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. Decorated with reserved whole strawberries.
[Makes 10-12 servings]