Saturday, June 2, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake! or well sort of cake...

I made this over memorial weekend and am already wanting to make it again! I was trying to create a special dessert and didn't want to use any flour. I would definitely recommend this recipe. Enough chatting about this yumminess, let's get to it!
  • Strawberry Meringue "Cake"
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Parchment paper
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cups sugar, divided
  • egg whites, at room temperature 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • (8-oz.) containers mascarpone cheese 
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 2 1/4 cups sliced fresh strawberries 
    1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 7-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from oven, and cool. Reduce oven temperature to 250°.Process cornstarch, salt, toasted pecans, and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor 40 to 45 seconds or until pecans are finely ground 
    2. Cover a large baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 2 (8-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn paper over so the pencil lead wont get on the meringue. (If you are having trouble keeping the paper down temporarily secure with masking tape.)
    3. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating at medium-high speed until mixture is glossy, stiff peaks form, and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes; do not overbeat). Add half of pecan mixture to egg white mixture, gently folding just until blended. Repeat procedure with remaining pecan mixture.
    4. Gently spoon egg white mixture onto circles drawn on parchment paper, spreading to cover each circle completely.
    5. Bake at 250° for 1 hour, rotating baking sheets after 30 minutes. Turn oven off; let meringues stand in closed oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until surface is dry and meringues can be lifted from paper without sticking to fingers.
    6. Just before assembling cake, beat whipping cream at low speed until foamy; increase speed to medium-high, and gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. (Do not overbeat or cream will be grainy.) (I use about 3/4-1 cup of powdered sugar instead) In a separate bowl, stir together mascarpone cheese and vanilla in a large bowl just until blended. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.
    7. Carefully remove 1 meringue from parchment paper; place on a serving plate. Spread 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture over meringue; top with 1/2 the sliced strawberries. Top with remaining meringue, mascarpone mixture, and sliced strawberries. Serve immediately, or chill up to 2 hours. Cut with a sharp, thin-bladed knife.

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