Hazelnut Meringue Gateau

EpicureanPiranha | April 22nd, 2011 - 02:17

Hazelnuts, Meringue, Cream & Fresh Fruit Combine In This Luscious Gateau ♥

Hazelnut Meringue Gateau 04

I filled these hazelnut broyage layers with fresh peaches, blueberries, and cream whipped with brown sugar for a delicate caramel flavour.

“Meringue gateaux are wonderful concoctions based on layers or pieces of meringue to which ground nuts may have been added, which once baked, are layered with one or more preparations of flavoured whipped cream, silky buttercream, pastry cream, ganache, fresh fruit, fruit compotes, or a multitude of other fillings and filling combinations.  If ground nuts have been added to the meringue, the mixture is then known as ~ depending on the recipe’s origin, the type of gateaux, and the type of filling(s) used ~ succès, progress, japonais, grillage, broyage, dacquoise, or russe. These delicious types of meringue range from very crisp to very chewy, depending on the proportion of nuts, sugar, and egg whites used, as well as how they are baked.”

~ marie, the ©EpicureanPiranha

Meringue Desserts ~ Exquisitely Refined, Yet a Minimum of Effort To Make

I just love meringue-based desserts! They can look and taste exquisitely refined, yet often take a minimum of effort to make compared to some elaborate gateaux and tortes! This is one of those cakes, which I created a short while ago. I had leftover egg whites I needed to use, so I decided to make some toasted hazelnut meringues, or Swiss hazelnut broyage. Swiss broyage is often piped or spread fairly thinly on a baking sheet then cooked. These thin layers can then be used as an ingredient in the confection of elaborate gateaux. However, it’s equally delicious baked like a cake, in springform pans, which creates a little more height and a chewier texture, which is how I baked this since I was a little short on time.

The delicious flavour of hazelnuts, gently toasted then finely ground, produces a meringue rich in flavour and just slightly chewy in the centre. Whipped cream flavoured with vanilla and a little brown sugar to give it a delicate caramel flavour, fresh blueberries, and thinly sliced fresh peaches, are a lovely compliment to the hazelnuts

Although this cake is fairly simple to make if you follow my guidelines, the cooking time is lengthier than for other cakes, so you’ll need to plan accordingly!

Hazelnut Meringue Gateau 02

Hazelnut Meringue Gateau makes an elegant dessert, or is lovely as an afternoon cake with tea or coffee.

Hazelnut Meringue Gateau

(6 to 8 servings)

  • 2 x 20 cm springform pans, lightly buttered, and bottoms lined with lightly buttered baking parchment.
  • Preheat oven to 180C, and place the rack in the center.

Make the Swiss Broyage:

Metric Ingredient Prep.
125 g Whole hazelnuts Toasted at 180C for 6 to 8 min., then cooled.
4 Large egg whites Room temp.§
280 g Granulated sugar* You can also use extra fine sugar.
125 g Whole hazelnuts Cut into 2 cm lengths, white and green parts.
5 ml White balsamic vinegar
2.5 ml Vanilla

Prepare the Filling:

Metric Ingredient Prep.
3 Ripe peaches, but still firm Peeled, pitted, and cut in thin slices
125 ml Fresh blueberries
300 ml Whipping (35%) cream
5 ml Vanilla or hazelnut liqueur
30 ml Light brown sugar, packed
  • First, prepare the hazelnuts. Once they’ve completely cooled (after toasting), place them in a clean tea towel and rub together to remove the skins.
  • Add the hazelnuts and 30 ml of the sugar to your food processor and pulse until quite finely ground, being careful not to end up with hazelnut butter (this happens when they are processed too long or too quickly)! You can skip this step and purchase ground hazelnuts, but you will be sacrificing lots of flavour!
  • Now whip the egg whites until foamy, and add the sugar a Tbs at a time, until the whites are stiff and glossy.
  • Add the vanilla and vinegar, and blend.
  • Carefully fold in the ground hazelnuts, using a large metal spoon or spatula and large, circular, lifting motions whist turning the bowl. Note: Don’t attempt to blend them perfectly, or you will lose too much volume!
  • Spoon evenly into both tins, level the tops, and carefully place in the oven.
  • Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until they look done.
  • Remove from the oven and place on a grill. Use a knife the loosen the broyage all around the edges, then gently remove the ring, then the bottom and the parchment paper, placing the gateau right side up on the rack to cool completely.

To Serve:

  • Shortly before serving, and preferably no more than an hour before, prepare the fruit. Whip the cream until fairly stiff, adding the flavouring and brown sugar.
  • Reserve the prettiest layer for the top. Place the other layer on a serving plate. Cover with a thick layer of cream to within 0.5 cm of the edge. Arrange the peach slices and some of the blueberries on the cream, and drop a few small spoonfuls of cream over the top to fix the fruit in place.
  • Place the second layer on top. Then using a piping bag (or a teaspoon), place some rosettes (or small mounds) of whipped cream around the edge. Decorate with blueberries.

Notes

§ I discovered, with great pleasure, that you can purchase absolutely pure egg whites in cartons. They have no additives whatsoever, and are less expensive than using eggs, especially if you do not plan on using the yolks. If you want to use these egg whites for the above recipe, you will need 150 ml (equal to 4 large egg whites).

* If you live in the UK, you should use castor sugar, because the granulated sugar is not sufficiently fine.

2 Responses to “Hazelnut Meringue Gateau”

  1. Rosie says:

    This cake was so good, Marie! We had Rita over and we split the piece you gave us in three so she could taste it. She loved it too!

    Your petite maman x

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