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Almond Meringue Cake With Strawberry And Vanilla Ice Cream

Courses: Dessert
Serves: 8 people

Recipe Ingredients

  Classic meringue
4 tablespoons 60mlPlus 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
2/3 cup 131g / 4.6ozConfectioners' sugar
1/2 cup 99g / 3.5ozEgg whites - about 4 large at room temp
1/3 cup 30g / 1.1ozAlmonds - finely chopped
  Vegetable oil spray
1   Strawberry ice cream - softened slightly
1   Vanilla ice cream - softened slightly
1 1/2 cups 139g / 4.9ozAlmonds - sliced, toasted
  Fresh strawberries - optional, for garnish

Recipe Instructions

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position-, heat oven to 225 degrees.

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Fit large pastry bag with 1/2-inch plain decorating tip.  Sift 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with confectioners' sugar-,set aside.

Place egg whites in large bowl of electric mixer. Using whisk attachment, whip them on low speed just until frothy. Increase speed to medium, sprinkle in 2 tablespoons reserved granulated sugar, and continue whipping to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/3 cup reserved granulated sugar, continue whipping to stiff, glossy peaks. Stop mixer, rub some meringue between your fingers. If smooth, proceed to next step. If still grainy, continue beating until smooth.

Sprinkle sifted powdered-sugar mixture and chopped almonds over meringue, fold in with rubber spatula until just incorporated. Immediately scoop meringue into prepared pastry bag.

Use a compass to trace 8-inch and 6 1/2-inch circles on parchment paper. If a compass is unavailable, use household items like lids or ramekins as guides to trace around. Before forming meringue shapes, pipe out or spoon a small quantity(about 1 1/2 teaspoon) of meringue into each corner of parchment paper to keep it in place as you work. Lightly spray each circle with cooking spray to ensure easy removal of meringues. Beginning in center of traced circle, pipe meringue in a continuous, widening spiral until it reaches edge of the circle. Hold the pastry bag perpendicular to baking sheet, 1 1/2 to 2 inches from area you are piping. Apply continuous pressure as you pipe. Pipe a couple of 1/2-inch disks with any excess meringue. These extra meringues are used to test for doneness.

Bake meringues until one of the test samples releases easily from paper and snaps crisply after 5 minutes of cooling, 60 to 80 minutes. Once sample is crisp when tested, remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack until meringue disks are room temperature, about 30 minutes. Carefully remove cooled meringues from paper. Place larger disk on 9-inch round piece of cardboard or removable tart-pan bottom. Place smaller disk on similar surface. Freeze both disks for 30 minutes. (Can also be stored in an airtight container up to 2 weeks-, upon removal, freeze the disks before adding topping.)

Spread 2 cups of strawberry ice cream over each frozen disk with a flexible metal spatula. Spread 1 cup of vanilla ice cream over strawberry ice cream on large disk. Return disk to freezer until ice cream is firm.

When ice cream on large disks is frozen, carefully slide smaller meringue disk, ice-cream side up, on top of ice-cream layers on large disk. Spread the remaining vanilla ice cream over top and sides of cake. Move spatula from bottom upward to contour top and create dome shape. Return dessert to freezer until ice cream is firm.

Hold cake in one hand directly over a baking pan containing nuts. Use other hand to gently press nuts into ice cream. Nuts can be secured by pressing them gently into ice cream with a flexible metal spatula.

Return cake to freezer for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day. About 15

minutes before serving, transfer cake to serving platter and garnish with strawberries. Use knife to cut cake into wedges and serve immediately.

For individual dessert shells: Use back of a spoon to carefully spread about 1/2 cup of meringue inside each traced circle. Still using spoon, form an indentation in center and a decorative edge around side of each shell.

Cook's Illustrated, Mar./Apr. 1995, Page 21.


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