I'm really delighted with how this turned out. It's fab. Thin layers of meringue made macaroony with almond meal and spiked with freeze dried raspberries, pillowy whipped cream, lemon curd and gorgeous fresh British raspberries.
|Cream and lemon curd swirl|
Raspberry and lemon dacquoise (serves 6-8)
4 egg whites, at room temperature
175g golden caster sugar
50g ground almonds
2tbs freeze dried raspberry pieces
2tps white wine vinegar
300ml double cream
150g good quality lemon curd
Preheat the oven to 140C. Draw 2 22cm circles on baking parchment, and use the parchment to line baking sheets (I drew my circles with a permanent marker, so I turned the paper over to avoid getting any of the ink in my meringue).
In a very clean glass or metal bowl, whip the egg whites to firm peaks. According to Mary Berry they should look "like clouds", which is as good a description as any. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking it in completely between each addition. Once it is all added, continue to whisk until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Sprinkle the ground almonds, freeze dried raspberries, cornflour and vinegar over the meringue and gently but thoroughly fold it all in with a metal spoon, trying not to knock the air out.
Divide the meringue evenly between the two baking parchment circles, not being too precious about shaping it into discs (although if you are a precise sort of person, I think you could put the mixture in a piping bag and pipe the circles instead), and bake for about 45 minutes or until firm, dry and lightly golden. Don't open the oven if you can avoid it, and if you can't avoid it (if, say, your oven door is so discoloured by years of roasts that you can't see the colour of the meringue through it) be gentle and try not to bang. Turn the oven off and leave it open a crack for the meringue to cool slowly and dry out completely. I did this the day before so it could cool over night.
Line a 23cm springform pan with clingfilm. Place one of the completely cold meringue discs in the base of it. I'm tempted to say use the less-pretty disc for the base, but I did that and then cracked the prettier one that I was putting on top, so I really don't think it makes a difference.
Whip the cream to firm peaks - not so firm that it's about to split. Splodge 1/3 of the cream and 1/2 the lemon curd onto the meringue and swirl it together. Arrange most of the raspberries in an even layer on top of the cream and lemon curd, keeping back a few large pretty ones for decorating the top. Splodge half of the remaining cream and the rest of the lemon curd on top of the raspberries and swirl that together too.
Top with the second meringue disc and decorate with the last of the cream and raspberries.