Things haven’t been great recently. That’s an understatement. I want to be one of those women who’s brave and pulls stoic faces when asked if she’s okay. Instead I cry and rub mascara over my puffy red rimmed eyes. After possibly the Worst Weekend ever, yesterday I managed to lock myself in the back garden. Yep. Quite a feat. I was trying to be upbeat and happy at the rays of sunshine beating down and so with washing basket in hand began putting all the wet clothes out. Because when clothes smell of fresh air everything feels better.
Five minutes later I’m trying to force the back door. As I’d shut it somehow the key I’d left in it (stupid, stupid, stupid thing to do) had turned and then fallen to the floor – inside the house. Locked out, in the back garden, with no phone and the only exit a locked 6ft gate framed by thorny trees.
Well I surprised myself. For a girl picked last for every netball and hockey match of my youth I did a pretty good job of climbing and jumping and running to a neighbour’s house. I was wasted on netball. I did cry though. Stoic I am not.
Comments, as always, welcomed. And yes, this is the meringue layer cake I made on QVC. I think it would be perfect for Mother’s Day.
Lemon & coconut meringue layer stack
- 240g egg whites (about 8 but depends on size of your eggs)
- 400g castor sugar
- 10g cornflour
- 10mls white wine vinegar
- 600mls doubel cream
- 550g lemon curd
- 100g Toasted coconut flakes
- A few raspberries
Whisk your egg whites until beginning to hold their peaks. Then whisk in 1 teaspoon of the castor sugar at a time. I know this is laborious but if you rush it and throw the lot in you’re less likely to make sure it all dissolves into the egg and you might end up with weeping meringue. Might.
Once the sugar’s all in, the mixture should look really white and glossy, then add in the cornflour and white wine vinegar. Whisk again. The combination of these ingredients makes for a mallowy chewy middle to your meringue so whilst they’re desirable they’re not a reason to run to the local shops if you don’t have them.
Pop some foil or baking parchment on 3 baking trays, fixing down with a little sticky meringue. Then spoon a third of the meringue onto each tray and use the back of a spoon to rub into a flat circle shape. Try to get the circles about the same size.
Bake in a preheated oven at 140C, as soon as they go into the oven turn it down to about 100C, or 90C for a fan. Then after 45 minutes turn the oven off entirely but don’t open it.
About 35 minutes into baking I tend to open the oven door and have a little prod to make sure the oven has worked it’s magic and the outsides of the meringue are hard. If not they need a little longer than the aforementioned 45 minutes. Then I DO NOT OPEN the oven for the last ten minutes of baking. I turn the oven off and then leave the little snowy meringues to slowly come to room temperature for a few hours. Easier to just make these last thing at night and leave them until the morning in your oven.
Once completely cold use a little lemon curd to fix the largest meringue to your serving plate, then spread with more curd. Whip the double cream and add a third of it then sprinkle with a little coconut. Pop another meringue layer on the top and add lemon curd, cream and coconut and then repeat with the last meringue. Add a few raspberries and serve at once. This dessert does not like to be left about – beware collapse! Happy Mother’s Day all you Mums. x