Dacquoise Meringue Base

For 2X 25cm diameter or 2 rectangular bases, serves, 8-10 you need

This recipe can successfully be doubled

4 extra large egg whites

250g castor sugar

3ml cream of tartar

100g ground almonds or ground hazelnuts

Set oven at 160°C.

Prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper. Trace the shape onto the paper. I use a large cake pan or dinner plate for the two round discs, or two rectangular shapes about 30cm X 10cm.

For the filling you need

250 ml whipping cream

200ml fruit pulp the consistency of runny jam. I like the fruit to have some texture, so I do not blend it.

To assemble

Whip the cream until it is thick and gently fold the fruit puree through the cream. I like it to have a ripple effect so that you can see the colour of the fruit.

Place a layer of meringue on the serving plate (a few dots of cream on the plate will prevent the meringue from moving around). Spread two thirds of the cream/fruit on the meringue. Place the remaining meringue gently on top. Pipe or spoon blobs of the remaining cream around the edge of a round or down the centre of an oblong. Decorate as desired.

If you prefer you can use all the cream in the filling & simply dust the top with some icing sugar or, simply leave it to show off the lovely puffy meringue!

I often fresh flowers from the garden. If you do so always check that the flowers are edible and free of insects and have not been sprayed with insecticide.

 I made a plum and port sauce to go with the plum filled dacquoise

Recipe: Plum and port sauce

To prepare

Place the egg whites in a clean, dry, grease-free bowl

Whisk the whites until soft peaks and add the cream of tartar.

Continue whisking until firm peaks start forming, then add the castor sugar one tablespoon at a time.

Once all the sugar has been added, stop whisking.

Now add the ground nuts and gently fold them through the meringue.

Use a small spoon of meringue to secure the corners of the baking paper to the tray.

You can place the mixture into a piping bag with a plain nozzle, but I prefer the free form method (less handling of the mixture and less washing up) !

Gently spoon the meringue onto the baking paper, then using a spatula gently spread it to the marked edges.

Bake at 160°C for 45 minutes.

Allow meringue to cool and wrap it in plastic or store in an airtight container until required.