For meringue lovers – this is another recipe that is delicious at the end of summer. Juicy red plums lie on freshly whipped cream, sandwiched between meringue, topped with chopped nuts.
Meringue Layers with Red Plums
- Preparation time: 40 minutes
- Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes, plus cooling time for meringues
- Chilling time: 2 hours
- For the meringue layers
- 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
- 170 g (6 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts or walnuts
- For the filling
- 8 large red plums
- 2 tbsp caster/white sugar
- 284 ml carton double cream/whipping or heavy cream 1¼ cups
For the plums
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)
Wash the plums and cut in half following the natural line. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate. Remove the stones.
Arrange in a single layer in a baking dish, cut sides up. Sprinkle with the sugar and add 2 tablespoons of cold water.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.
For the meringue layers
While the plums are cooking, the nuts can be roasted. An easy way to do this is by tipping the nuts into a small non-stick frying pan/skillet placed over a medium-low heat. Cook until they just start to smell ‘nutty’, stirring occasionally. This only takes a few minutes.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Once the plums have cooked, lower the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2)
Prepare the meringue while the oven is cooling down to the right temperature.
Draw a 20cm (8 inch) circle with a pencil on two sheets of baking parchment. (Using a 20cm (8 inch) up-turned plate makes this easy.). Turn the sheets over and lay on two baking sheets/trays.
Whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak and then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition. Finally, whisk in the lemon juice.
Add a dab of meringue on the four corners of the baking sheets/trays, pressing the baking parchment down to keep in place. Then divide the the meringue evenly between the paper lined sheets/trays, spooning it into the centre of each circle. Using the back of the spoon, level the top of the meringue on one of the sheets/trays. Keep the top of the meringue rough on the other sheet/tray and then sprinkle the nuts over the meringue on this one.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Turn out the oven but leave the meringues inside until the oven has become cold.
Lift the meringue layers from the paper and slide the base one onto a serving plate.
For the filling
Whisk the cream until stiff and then spread over the base meringue layer.
Pour off any juice from the plums and reserve. Top the cream with the plum halves with the cut sides facing downwards. Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of reserved plum juice being careful not to allow it to get too close to the edge or it will run down the outside of the bottom meringue layer.
Cover with the top meringue layer and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
When slicing the meringue into portions use a long bladed knife that has been dipped in a jug of hot water. Shake off any droplets of water before cutting and wipe the blade clean between each cut.
Updated: October 26, 2019
A very decadent chocolate dessert to serve with a special dinner. This velvety brandy enriched chocolate slice is filled with cherries, walnuts, and crushed biscuits.
Chocolate Brandy Slices
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Chilling time: 1–2 hours
- 10 digestive biscuits
- 115 g (4 oz) good quality, plain/dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 115 g (4 oz) butter, cubed (½ cup, or 1 stick)
- 1 egg
- 85 g (1½ oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
- 40 g (1½ oz) glacé cherries (¼ cup)
- 40 g (1½ oz) walnut halves (⅓ cup)
- 2 tbsp brandy
- You will also need a rectangular mould about 22 x 11 cm (8½ x 4¼ inches), a small loaf tin/pan is ideal.
Line the mould with a piece of cling film/plastic wrap, long enough so it extends over the edges.
Now put the digestive biscuits in a plastic food bag and crush coarsely with a rolling pin. Set aside.
Next rinse the cherries and leave to dry.
Then break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a pan along with the butter. Melt over a very low heat, stirring frequently. When the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat.
Add the egg and sugar to a small bowl and beat vigorously until well combined. Then beat this into the melted chocolate and butter until the mixture is smooth.
Halve the cherries and reserve 6 halves.
Now reserve 6 walnut halves and cut these into two. Chop the remainder.
Fold the cherries, chopped walnuts, crushed biscuits, and brandy into the chocolate mixture.
Spoon this into the prepared mould and then decorate the top with the reserved cherries and walnuts.
Refrigerate for 1–2 hours to become firm and then remove 30 minutes before serving to allow to come up to room temperature.
To serve, remove from the mould by using the edges of the cling film/plastic wrap to help lift it out. Then cut into 6 slices.
The Ultimate Carrot Cake, so-called because it is full of so many goodies. Carrots, bananas, and walnuts all mixed into this delicious cake mixture. Then topped with a creamy cheese icing and sprinkled with nuts.
The Ultimate Carrot Cake
- Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- For the cake
- 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
- 170 g (6 oz) light muscovado sugar/soft brown sugar (¾ cup)
- 170 g (6 oz) plain flour/cake and pasty flour (1½ cups)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) oil (peanut or sunflower) (⅔ cup)
- 200 g (7 oz) walnut halves (1¾ cups)
- 170 g (6 oz) carrots, grated (3 medium, or 1 cup grated)
- 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
- For the icing
- 85 g (3 oz) cream cheese (⅜ cup, or 3 tbsp)
- 85 g (3 oz) butter, softened (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)
- 170 g (6 oz) icing/powdered sugar (1½ cups)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 20 cm (8 inch) diameter cake tin with removable base, greased
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) gas 3.
Set aside 28 g (1 oz) (¼ cup) of the walnuts for the decoration and then chop the the rest into quarters.
Beat the eggs and the sugar together in a large bowl until thick.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt and fold in gently.
Gently stir in the oil until thoroughly combined.
Next, stir in the bananas, then the carrot, and finally the walnut pieces.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing
While the cake is baking, remove the cream cheese from the fridge to bring it to room temperature.
Chop the reserved nuts into small pieces suitable for sprinkling over the top of the finished cake.
Once the cake is cold, prepare the icing. Beat together the cream cheese and the butter until creamy.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
Sift in the icing/powdered sugar and beat well until smooth.
Spread over the top of the cake and then sprinkle over the nuts.