Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Baileys and Hazelnut Meringue Cake

I am an addict.  I am addicted to buying cookery books and magazines. I have spent a fortune on them, I'm trying to stop but it's so hard. I rarely buy in bookstores anymore and go straight to the internet to feed my habit (like what I did there?) There's nothing nicer than getting nice post through the letterbox. I turned to the library and borrowed a book I liked the look of but that only made me want it for my own all the more. Santa granted my wish and brought it for Christmas. Nicely gift wrapped under a tree beats nice post any day. I love the thrill of a new book and deciding what I'm going to cook first. I love magazines too for seasonal ideas. I've also tried cutting them out too but I don't always win. I pass through Heuston Station on the way home every evening, when I'm at my weakest, tired and hungry and  Easons is always there trying to to tempt me with a magazine to make my soul feel better. My purse doesn't feel the same. Me and the purse are on a diet now.... sigh.

I had a huge collection of food magazines collecting dust on my shelves so during the summer I was particularly ruthless and did a clear out. I went through each of them and ripped out the recipes I wanted planning to file them all properly with an index. As usual, the novelty wore off this project pretty quickly, so while I have them in a folder, they are not indexed or in any sort of order. So I will probably never look at them again. I did keep all of my Christmas magazines though and flicked through them in December for some inspiration. I came across this meringue cake and thought it would make a perfect Christmas Day dessert, but really it would be a great dessert any day.

We were kindly gifted a bottle of Hazelnut Baileys by some friends which I took as a sign. Some Ferrero Rocher also mysteriously turned up (I took this as another sign), chocolate, hazelnuts and Baileys - a match made in heaven. I chopped up the Ferrero Rocher and layered them on top of the softly whipped cream. If you would like to make it more seasonal during the Summer, some raspberries or strawberries would be amazing too, I think.

Baileys & Hazelnut Meringue Cake - BBC Good Food Magazine December 2009
Serves 6

Notes - I picked up a bag of slightly roasted hazelnuts in the Asia Market on Drury Street very reasonably. The added bonus was the skins were already removed, which meant I didn't have to roast or toast the hazelnuts and then rub them like mad in a tea towel trying to remove the skins. I still gave them a light toast in dry pan to add extra flavour.
Do ahead, the meringues can be made up to 3 days in advance if stored in an airtight tin.
I always use vanilla caster sugar.
Please don't throw away the egg yolks, use them for custard or ice-cream or lemon curd or extra luxurious scrambled eggs. I hate wasting them.

150g toasted hazelnuts
5 egg whites
280g caster sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
300ml double cream
3 tbsp Baileys or more to taste
Icing sugar to dust

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees, fan assisted 170 degrees. Line 2 x 20cm round tins with foil, then lightly oil the foil. 
In a food processor, whizz the hazelnuts until finely ground. 
Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Whisk in most of the sugar a spoonful at a time, until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Stir in the remaining sugar into the nuts and fold into the meringue with the vinegar. 
Divide the mixture between the two tins and level the tops. 
Bake for 40-45 minutes until firm, then cool in the oven 
When the meringues are cold, carefully peel off the foil. 
To serve, whisk the cream, icing sugar and Baileys together until softly whipped. 
Put one of the meringues, top side down on a plate, then spread with the cream. Put the other meringue layer on top and dust generously with icing sugar. 


  1. I think we are all addicts for the cookbooks and magazines :) Gorgeous looking cake and another use for my bottle of Baileys too!

  2. I'm cookbook addict as well. Don't go to Chapters, yesterday I saw all Gordon Ramsay under 10 euro, Donna Hay Chocolate - 5 euro and many more. I resisted. Probably to next time.
    Beautiful cake

  3. Magda - you're a terrible influence! I bought three books in Chapters yesterday. My willpower has never been strong!