Gooseberry Meringue Cake

I recently posted on a friend's blog that I haven't been able to find any gooseberries this year. Sadly we left our gooseberry bushes in our French garden, and haven't room here to plant any. On Sunday we went to Suffolk for our granddaughter's 5th birthday, and my lovely German dil gave me a bagful of gooseberries given to her by a friend - they don't like them. She also gave me this recipe handed on by her grandmother.
It's not the prettiest cake, but it is delicious. I had to change a couple of things in the recipe as we can't find them in the UK [maybe you could online?] such as 'Sahnesteif' which helps cream stiffen and packet vanilla sugar. In the German recipe they used single cream, but I used double cream. The German recipe also used a packet meringue mix, but I made my own.

Preheat oven 160C/ gas 3
Grease 1 or 2 x 26cm springform cake tin and line the base with parchment paper.

Beat 100g of butter and 100g caster sugar together till light and fluffy.
In another bowl, beat 4 egg whites with 200g caster sugar till stiff peaks.
Pour half of the cake batter into the cake tin and spread evenly then top with half of the meringue mixture. Sprinkle with 40g flaked almonds.
Bake for 25-30 mins till golden.
Take out of the oven and cool for 5 mins, then lift out of the tin and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Do the same again with the other half of the batter and meringue mixtures. If you have 2 x 26cm tins you can cook them both at the same time!

While the cakes are cooling, whip 600ml double or whipping cream with 4 tspn vanilla sugar [I keep a used vanilla pod in my sugar jar and used this] and 2 tspn caster sugar [but you could use all caster sugar and add 1/2 tspn vanilla extract].

Melt 2 tbspn butter in a pan and add the zest and juice of a lemon, 100ml of water or apple juice and 300g gooseberries. Simmer for about 5 mins till gooseberries are soft but still have texture. Use a slotted spoon to remove the gooseberries and thicken the liquid in the pan with 1 leaf of gelatine then put the gooseberries back in and cool.

To assemble the cake - put one cake layer onto a serving plate then top with the gooseberries. Spread on the whipped cream and top with the other cake.

The cake freezes well if you have any left over!

As I said earlier, it's not the prettiest cake, but it's delicious. I love the textures - soft sponge cake, tart gooseberries, crunchy meringue and almonds.
You need a sharp knife to cut it or the cream oozes out of the sides! My dil suggested that you cut the top cake layer into slices before putting it on top of the cream. She also said that it can be made with sour cherries, and that she's made it with strawberries and peaches. I think a tart fruit like gooseberries or sour cherries or maybe rhubarb would work best, as a contrast to the sweet meringue.


Suelle said…
This sounds delicious. I'm picking my gooseberries this weekend, and should have enough to freeze for later use, so will remember this cake.

Our first gooseberry dish of the year is always a crumble!
Gooseberries are wonderful things. I left gooseberry bushes behind the last time I moved house, but I'm lucky enough to have a large PYO farm just up the road with plenty of gooseberries and I've been picking loads. This sounds like a very fine use of gooseberries to me. Meringue and gooseberries is an excellent combination. I had no idea that there was such a thing as a packet meringue mix, though.

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