It feels like a week where a bit of colour is needed to brighten up the day. Nothing shouts colour more than this stunning Rainbow Meringue Cake with its rainbow layers, gorgeous vanilla mascarpone cream and topped with strawberries, raspberries and pomegranate seeds.
The idea for the rainbow meringue layers was taken from the Meringue Girls Cookbook. I am a HUGE fan of meringue, particularly macarons, and their little meringue kisses which I recently turned into little ghosts for a kids' birthday party, are the loveliest treats.
The meringue is straightforward using the Meringue Girls process. You need a couple of batches of their meringue mixture which is also the base of their kisses. It's simply oven-heated sugar added a spoonful at a time to egg white whipped to stiff peaks and then whisked for around 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
The more fiddly bit is preparing the piping bags for the mixture and these need to be coated with thick food paste in the different rainbow colours. Did you ever use an acronym to remember the rainbow order? I can still be found muttering Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain!! To achieve the different hues, I used Sugarflair Spectral Paste in these colours: Velvet Red, Yellow/Cream, Yellow Extra, Holly Green, Ice Blue and Purple. To apply them, the way that's easiest for me is to turn the piping bag inside out (I don't worry about the very tip of the icing bag as it will be snipped off and also gives us a little tag to hold onto when pulling the bag back through the right way). Once your bag is turned inside out, pop it over a wine bottle and then take your chosen food colour paste, painting the inside from tip to half-way down the bag with a thick coating of colour. If you leave the bag for too long after painting, you'll notice that the colour may start to separate so it's worth giving the bag a quick brush with a pastry brush to distribute the colour just before adding the meringue.
Then pull the bag back the right way so the food colour is on the inside. I then pop my bag into a measuring jug and fill it with a couple of scoops (I used an ice cream scoop) of meringue. Squidge the food colour into the meringue with your fingers and then snip off the end. Pipe the mixture onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper starting at the outside and working in. I found that I didn't have generous amount of meringue mixture for each one so had to use a spatula to smooth it and cover the whole circle. Be careful not to smooth the very outside of the circle with the deepest colour as this will show on the outside of your cake so you want a really vibrant colour.
After baking and cooling, you're ready to assemble your cake. The cream does make the inside of the meringue soften and disintegrate a little, so it's best to assemble this as close to serving as you can. I decided to fill my cake with a vanilla mascarpone cream and then top it with beautiful strawberries, raspberries and pomegranate seed and a light dusting of icing sugar.
This cake is sweet and delicious and the cream is lovely and light.
It does take a little preparation but looks so bright and colourful, it would be a welcome addition to any party, dinner affair or just for fun.
Ours is just for fun. Can't wait to show the kids what they're having for pudding tonight :)
Rainbow Meringue Cake
Rainbow Meringue (from Meringue Girls Cookbook)
- 300G EGG WHITES (I use Two Chicks egg whites but you could also use around 10 medium eggs)
- 600G CASTER SUGAR
Vanilla Mascarpone Cream
- 500G MASCARPONE
- 460ML WHIPPING CREAM
- 4 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT (to taste)
- 140G CASTER SUGAR (to taste)
- PUNNET OF STRAWBERRIES
- PUNNET OF RASPBERRIES
- 1 POMEGRANATE
- ICING SUGAR (to dust)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees
- The meringue is made in 2 batches so the first batch will make 3 meringue discs
- Line 3 baking trays with greaseproof paper and draw a 10 inch circle as a guide
- Line a roasting tray with greaseproof paper and then pour in 300g sugar, smoothing it to get it spread as evenly as possible
- Put the sugar in the oven for 5 mins
- Measure 150g egg white in a standing mixer and start by whisking is slowly
- Then increase the speed to medium for a couple of minutes and then increase it again to high speed until it's formed stiff peaks
- The sugar should be ready to come out of the oven and with the mixer turned up to high speed, it should be added a spoonful at a time to the egg white (around 30 seconds between each addition)
- When the sugar is all added, keep mixing for another 5 mins - it's ready when you can rub a bit of meringue between 2 fingers and can't feel the grains of sugar
- Prepare 3 icing bags by turning them inside out and popping each one over a wine bottle (or similar shape)
- Paint the icing bags thickly with food colour paste, ensuring a heavy coating from the tip down to half-way
- Turn the bags the right way around and then add 2 scoopfuls of meringue into each bag, squidging the colour into the meringue with your fingers
- Snip off the end and then pipe a 10cm circle on the prepared baking tray
- Bake for around 1 hour until the meringue lifts off the baking tray
- Leave to cool on the tray
- Repeat this process with the other half of the meringue ingredients and the remaining 3 colours
- When you're ready to assemble the cake, prepare the mascarpone cream
- Put all the cream ingredients into a bowl and mix for a couple of minutes until the cream is smooth and has soft peaks
- Spread the cream over each of the layers and then assemble in rainbow order
- Top with your favourite fruit and dust with a sprinkling of icing sugar :)