Hazelnut & Strawberry Vacherin

  • Total Time

    2h 0m
    • Prep Time

      30m
    • Bake Time

      1h 30m
  • Serves

    2
  • Skill Level

    Intermediate
  • Dietary Needs

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This extra special dessert can also double up as a birthday cake with some indoor sparklers or birthday candles pressed into the top meringue layer. This recipe is courtesy of Seasonal Berries, the strawberry growers of Britain in aid of Breast Cancer Care. Get together with your favourite people this summer and host a tea party in aid of Breast Cancer Care. You can find more details online about the charity’s Strawberry Tea campaign, visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk/strawberry  

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 110°C (fan 110°C, gas mark ¼). Line two large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper and draw on three 20 cm (8 inch) circles.

  2. Grill the hazelnuts until golden then finely chop or grind in a liquidiser or food processor until similar to breadcrumbs then mix with the cornflour.

  3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks. Gradually whisk in the sugar, a teaspoonful at a time and continue whisking once all the sugar has been added for a minute or two until the meringue is very thick and glossy.

  4. Fold in the hazelnuts and cornflour, then spoon the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 1 cm (1/2 inch) nozzle and pipe three meringue circles onto the prepared circles, starting in the centre of each circle. Alternatively you can spoon the meringue on to the paper and spread with a round bladed knife.

  5. Bake for 75-90 minutes or until the meringue circles can be lifted easily from the paper. Leave to cool on the paper.

  6. When ready to serve, whisk the cream in a bowl until it forms very soft peaks then fold in the fromage frais.

  7. Transfer one of the meringues to a serving plate, spoon over one third of the cream mixture then sprinkle with one third of the fruit and drizzle with a little of the chocolate. Cover with a second meringue then repeat the layers topping with fruit, extra hazelnuts and drizzles of melted chocolate.

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