LOUISE CAKE

Ready in 1¼ hours Makes about 25 pieces

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - ANNABEL LANGBEIN -

250g but­ter, at room tem­per­a­ture 1½ cups caster sugar 4 large egg yolks 1 tsp vanilla ex­tract 3 cups flour 2 tsp bak­ing pow­der 1 cup berry jam of your choice, for fill­ing

Co­conut Meringue Top­ping

4 large egg whites 1 cup sugar 2 cups thread co­conut ½ tsp vanilla ex­tract

Pre­heat oven to 160C fan­bake. Line a medium (about 30cm x 24cm) sponge-roll tin with bak­ing pa­per. Beat to­gether but­ter and sugar un­til creamy.

Mix in egg yolks and vanilla, then stir in flour and bak­ing pow­der to make a crumbly dough. Press into pre­pared tin to form a firm base about 1½cm thick. Bake un­til pale golden (about 20 min­utes). While the base is cook­ing, make top­ping. Place egg whites in a clean bowl or elec­tric mixer and beat with a clean beater un­til soft peaks form. Beat in sugar un­til mix­ture forms a glossy meringue. Fold in co­conut and vanilla. Cool cooked base for 10 min­utes, then spread with jam and top­ping. Bake un­til crisp and lightly golden (about 35 min­utes). Cut into about 25 pieces while warm. Cool, then store in an air­tight con­tainer for up to two weeks. It also freezes well. Annabel says: A ten­der short­crust base topped with a layer of rich berry tang and a crisp co­conut meringue top­ping — this is one slice that never goes out of fash­ion.

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