Elderflower Eton Mess Cake

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This cake has a deliciously subtle summery flavour and the different textures from the crunchy meringue, juicy strawberries and  moist cake come together to make a great all round experience, and it looks very pretty! But beware the cake should be finished just before you want to serve it as otherwise the meringues will begin disintegrate because of the cream.

Ingredients

300g butter

·         300g caster sugar

·         5 eggs

·         275g self-raising flour

·         A pinch of salt

·         2 tbsps of milk

·         1 tbsp of honey

Syrup

·         4 tbsps of elderflower cordial

·         Juice of ½ a lemon

·         150 ml of water

 

Meringues

·         1 egg white

·         75g of caster sugar

(you may want to double the mixture here and have more for decoration or as another party treat, if so make more Chantilly too!)

To decorate

·         Handful of strawberries

·         Pansies – you can get edible varieties but I don’t think mine were!

·         Mint Leaves

Chantilly Cream

·         284ml of double cream

·         Icing sugar to taste

·         1 tsp of vanilla essence

Equipment

·         Mixing bowl and wooden spoon

·         Electric whisk

·         Saucepan

·         Measuring jug

·         Piping bag and star shaped nozzle and plain nozzle

·         x2 lined Cake tins

·         lined baking tray

·         small glass bowl

Method

  • ·First of all make your meringues. Preheat your oven to 100C/ conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4
  •  Place your egg white in a bowl and whisk until it forms stiff peaks – you know when it’s done when you can turn it upside down and it doesn’t move at all.
  • Still whisking slowly add in your sugar a spoonful at a time until you get a nice glossy mixture.
  • Delicately add you the mixture to the piping bag with the plain nozzle. I find this easiest by putting the piping bag in a glass and opening it out rather than trying to use my hands.
  • Pipe small and similar sized swirls working from the outside inwards and cook for about 25 minutes. Then turn off the oven but leave the meringues in there for about an hour.

meringues.jpg

  • For the cake preheat the oven to 180/160/5
  • cream  together the butter and sugar until and fluffy. Slowly incorporate the eggs one by one with a spoonful of flour in-between each one and the vanilla. Finally sieve in the rest of the flour and divide equally between your two lined cake tins and bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
  • Whilst the cakes are in the oven make the syrup, simply put all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for abut 10 minutes until the liquid reduces and becomes thick, then allow to cool.
  • Once the cakes are ready and cooled poke sporadic holes in the cakes with either a sharp knife or a skewer, then spoon the mixture on to the cake and let it seep into the holes you’ve just created.
  • Whisk the chantilly cream up until it becomes thick which should take a couple of minutes.
  • Just before serving, place a large spoonful in the middle with some crushed meringues and strawberries and continue placing a small about of cream on the outside. Place some of the cream in a piping bag with the star nozzle and decoratively pipe some stars on stop with strawberries and the meringues and voila!
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