Meringue-topped Strawberry Cakes


You will need

For the cakes

70g roasted, chopped hazelnuts
135g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
115g caster sugar
2 large eggs
115g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
65ml double cream

For the topping

300g strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
1 quantity Swiss meringue 

To serve

Strawberries and finely crumbled meringue (optional)


Directions

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4 and grease a 12-cup, loose-bottomed mini sandwich tin, with straight sides.

2 Whizz the chopped hazelnuts to a powder in a blender. Beat the butter, vanilla seeds and sugar together in a kitchen mixer, or in a bowl with an electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time, then fold in the flour, baking powder and ground hazelnuts. Gently fold in the double cream then spoon into the sandwich tin and top with the chopped strawberries.

3 Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the cakes are cooked through. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning them out.

4 Spoon the Swiss meringue into a piping bag and cut the tip off. Pipe the meringue on top of the strawberries in little peaks, or any other pattern you like. Glaze with a blow torch or under a hot grill until just golden. Serve warm or cold, with a line of strawberries and finely crumbled meringue, if liked.

Recipe courtesy of Sweet by Jame Martin, Quadrille, £20.00

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