In my last post I talked about Waitrose’s Raspberry & Drambuie Meringue Gateau. They stopped doing it a few years ago so I’ve had a bash at recreating it. The end result isn’t exactly the same as the dessert I remember if I’m honest – It’s more of a variation on a dessert my Dad makes, which has a nod to that delicious Waitrose pud of old:
– a high-sided springform cake tin
– a large mixing bowl
– something to whip the cream (electric or hand whisk)
– a small sharp serrated knife and a bread knife
– a ready-made sponge flan case larger than your cake tin
– 250g of fruit (I used strawberries and raspberries)
– 300ml whipping cream
– 250g mascarpone cheese
– 2ish tablespoons of Drambuie if you have it (I used whiskey)
– 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
– 2 small ready made meringue nests
– A little icing sugar for the top
Start by using the small knife to trim down the flan case so it’s the same size as your cake tin. Then, using a sharp bread knife, cut through the sponge base laterally to give you two thin pieces of sponge. Take it slowly using small strokes, check that you’re cutting evenly as you go.
Separate the two layers of sponge. Save the top layer for the top of the dessert as it looks tidier. Use the bottom layer in the bottom of your cake tin. Take care because it’s quite thin and fragile. Spoon about a third of the booze over the base layer and move the tin and sponge top to one side.
In your mixing bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the mascarpone cheese to the cream and fold together. Wash your fruit (and cut the strawbs into smaller chunks if you’re using them) and add to the cream/cheese mix. Roughly crumble the meringue keeping some larger chunks (for crunch) and add that too, along with the remaining booze and the vanilla essence. Fold until it’s combined – don’t over mix, it needs to just come together.
Spoon the cream and fruit mix into the cake tin carefully a little at a time. Don’t push it against the sides of the tin too much – doing that means you run the risk of it sticking to the sides when you remove the tin to serve. Lightly smooth the mix until it’s flat and place the remaining layer of sponge on the top. Sprinkle icing sugar over the top sponge evenly whilst it’s in the tin (less messy than doing after you take it out!), cover and pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
When you take it out of the fridge to serve, remove the cake tin gently and slowly. You can also try heating a metal skewer and branding the top of the pud – the skewer needs to be really hot so you can do all the stripes (or criss-crossing if you’re really quick) in one go. This is a practised art but worth doing because it looks really pretty and the taste of caramelised sugar adds to the favour of the dessert.
Give it a go – its a lovely summery dessert. Perfect for this bonkers heatwave we’re having at the moment. If I were to try again, and make it more like the Waitrose pudding, there would be a layer of meringue in the middle the same size at the sponge base & top. The trick would be working out how to stop the meringue layer from going soggy and losing its crunch. And there would be Drambuie – lots of it.
(A final thank you to Rob and Sarah for being very willing volunteers for my first attempt… “it’s the perfect cake – more filling than sponge!”)