Eton Mess Cake



I made this for my husbands birthday two days ago. His favorite cake is Angel Food and he loves meringues! With the cake being a sponge cake I felt it would make him happy…..Well this recipe did accomplish that to a tee. The only problem I had was in my cake batter overflowing on to the floor of the oven and then the cakes somewhat collapsing after being taken out of the oven as they had risen so high. Let me explain My second 7 quart Kitchen Aide Mixer died last year. I make bread every week and do a lot of mixing. It was 10 years old and my husband had nursed it along. What he had found whenever he had to repair something was the part in the mixer was plastic and the part they would send him to replace it would be metal. I felt that was shoddy workmanship. It should have been built right to begin with. When it completely gave up the ghost my son went online and did some researching. What he found that I finally bought was the Ankarsrum Mixer. I cannot say enough about this mixer. When you use the whisks you get volume. After 5 minutes, which the mixer has it’s own built in timer and will shut itself off, my eggs and sugar had become so light they were just shy of the top of the bowl. I have already made a number of Angel Food cakes in this mixer and knew that I would not have to do the next steps by hand. The mixer is arranged differently than the KA. At the lowest speed it will gently and completely fold flour into high volume eggs or egg whites without losing any of the volume. It was also able to fold in the oil and lemon juice. I should have used 3, 8 inch pans or 2, 9 inch. ones. I am wondering if the extra tall cake pans would work? My husband love this cake so much and it was a welcome change from making him his usual Blitz Torte or Angel Food.

For the Sponge Cake:
Ingredients
1 1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 whole eggs
2 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

    Intrsuction
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
    Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
    In the bowl on an electric mixer, combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla.  Using the whisk attachment, beat on high for about 5 minutes or until the batter resembles pale ribbons.
    Stop the mixing and remove the mixing bowl form the stand.  Sift the dry ingredients over the top of the batter.  Whisk by hand until just barely combined.
    Pour in the lemon juice and oil and whisk by hand until combined (taking care to not deflate the batter as much as possible).
    Evenly distribute the batter between the two pans and bake for about 35 to 38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
    Let cool on a wire rack before removing the cakes from their pans.

For the Meringues:
Ingredients
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Intrsuction
    Preheat to oven to 215 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    In the bowl of an electric mixer, place the egg whites and cream of tartar.  Using the whisk attachment, begin whipping the whites on medium-low.
    Once the egg whites begin to foam, slowly add in the sugar and gradually increase the speed to medium-high.
    Continue to whip egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks.  Add in the vanilla and mix for an additional 30 seconds until combined.
    Spoon about 2/3 of the meringue onto the parchment paper into disks (about 3 inches in diameter – these will be broken up, so no need for them to be perfect).
    Fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with the remaining meringue.  Pipe meringue “kisses” on the parchment (use two baking sheets if necessary).
    Bake the meringue for about 45 to 75 minutes, or until crisp on the outside and meringue can easily peel off the parchment.

For the Whipped Cream:
Ingredients
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Intrsuction
    In the bowl on an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream on medium-high until it begins to thicken slightly.
    Gradually add in the sugar and vanilla and bump mixer up to high.
    Continue to whip the cream until medium-soft peaks.

For the Assembly:
Ingredients
about 3 to 4 cups fresh berries, washed and dry

    Intrsuction
    Once the cakes have cooled, carefully slice them in half (horizontally) using a long serrated knife.
    Beak up the meringue disks and set aside.
    Place a bottom layer of cake on a cake plate or serving dish. Spread on 1/4 of the whipped cream.
    Top the cream with mixed berried and a generous amount of meringue pieces.
    Top with the next layer of cake and repeat until all cake layers are used.
    On the very top of the cake, spread on the remaining whipped cream. Top with berries and meringues kisses.

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