in the spirit of this beautiful and complex land…celebrating its birthday with a beautifully nuanced torte that is attributed mostly to either New Zealand or Australia. Tony Bourdain ate it with kiwi in NZ and challenged its origins, while i’ve always thought that it was dedicated to the delicate ballerina Anna Pavlova while she performed The Dying Swan…possibly in New Zealand?
this is based on two desserts, one from a cookbook and one from the latest issue of Gourmet July 2009. i was going to serve during my annual July 4th cookout but i couldn’t wait to experiment. this has to be eaten up instantaneously, since the frosting is made of whipped cream with Greek-style yogurt that does not keep at all and must be consumed on the spot.
not at all hard to do.
and on the cookout day, we grilled…
everything but the slug.
[postscript, added 11 September 2009: i’ve had a grand total of two requests for the recipes! :goodvibes
so here they are, thanks guys. for still reading this blog. :wizard: ]
the hazelnut meringue layers are from epicurious. they are rich and nutty
the cream filling is from “Desserts All Around the Year,” 2008, World Publications group, www.wrldpub.net.
* Confectioners sugar for dusting
* 1 cup superfine granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
* 3/4 cup egg whites (from 5 to 6 large eggs) at room temperature 30 minutes
* 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, trimmed and quartered
* 1 pound blackberries
* 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
* 1 cup chilled heavy cream
* 1/3 cup chilled sour cream
Preheat oven to 275°F with rack in middle. Lightly butter 3 (8-inch) round cake pans, then dust sides of pans with confectioners sugar, knocking out excess. Line bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper.
Pulse superfine sugar, brown sugar, and cornstarch in a food processor until well combined.
Stir together vanilla and vinegar in a small bowl.
Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt using an electric mixer at medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Increase speed to medium-high and add sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. After all sugar has been added, beat 1 minute more. Add vinegar mixture, then beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Spoon meringue into pans (about 2 1/2 cups per pan) and smooth tops.
Bake until meringues have a crisp crust and feel dry to the touch, about 1 hour (insides will still be marshmallow-like).
Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Cool meringues in oven 1 hour. (Meringues may sink slightly and crack while cooling.)
Run knife along sides of cake pans and carefully turn meringues out of pans. Carefully peel off parchment (meringues will be fragile and the crust may crack further). Carefully turn right side up.
Macerate fruit while meringues cool:
Toss berries with sugar and let stand at room temperature until ready to use (up to 1 hour).
Beat heavy cream with sour cream using an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks. Put 1 meringue on a serving plate and spread one third of whipped cream over it. Spoon one third of fruit (with juice) over top. Repeat with remaining meringues, cream, and fruit.
Cooks’ note: Meringues can be frozen, individually wrapped, up to 1 month; thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
prepare the meringue layers, as directed from the recipe above. leave to cool, then transfer to a serving platter.
whip 1 cup heavy cream and 1 tbsp. orange juice just until thick. stir in 2 tbsps. thick and creamy yogurt (i used Greek-style) and spoon on to the meringue. top with the fruit and drizzle over 1-2 tbsps warmed redcurrant jelly.