Festive apple meringue cake
Executive chef Jules Hetherton was born in Norwich but grew up in Africa. When she returned to Norwich she trained at City College Norwich and won the EDP Food Awards Young Chef of the Future title in the year she graduated. At college she met Richard Hughes and continued her training with him at The Lavender House in Brundall, also working at Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons under Benoit Blin, who was head pastry chef, and The Connaught in London. Jules now oversees both kitchen operations at Strattons, however you will still find her in both kitchens creating delicious traditional afternoon teas and desserts.
‘I like to theme our afternoon teas and they change regularly. For example, this month they are based around the Nutcracker and in celebration of AA Milne’s birthday in January, I’m creating a delicious Winnie the Pooh themed afternoon tea.’
Here Jules shares her recipe for a dessert sure to impress this Christmas.
For the meringues 50g of egg whites 100g of caster sugar
For the vanilla sponge
400g of butter
400g of caster sugar
400g of self-raising flour (sifted) 1 tsp of vanilla extract
For the apple buttercream
2 cooking apples (peeled and chopped)
250g of unsalted butter 400g of icing sugar
½ tsp of ground cinnamon
For the white chocolate ganache
200g of white chocolate 75g of double cream
A handful of blueberries (poached) for garnish
For the meringues, pre-heat your oven to 80°C. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff and slowly add the sugar. Continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe onto a baking sheet into 2cm stars. Cook for four hours until firm. Allow to cool in the oven and transfer into an airtight container.
To make the sponge, pre-heat your oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time, then stir in the flour and vanilla. Transfer into the prepared tin and bake for around 25 minutes until cooked. Allow to cool.
To make the butter cream, place the apples into a pan with a splash of water and the cinnamon and cook on a low heat until soft. Allow to cool and puree in a food blender. Cream the butter in a mixer and slowly add the sugar, beat until smooth and add the apple puree to this mixture.
To make the white chocolate ganache, place the cream into a pan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and add the white chocolate and stir until smooth. Alow to cool.
To assemble the cake cut the cooled sponge into 4 equal layers. Spread one quarter of butter cream on the bottom layer and cover with another layer of sponge. Repeat this process until the cake is stacked up with the four sponge layers, each with buttercream in between. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the top of the stack and place the cake in the fridge. Once hardened, spread the white chocolate ganache on the top and place back in the fridge. Once cooled, using a sharp knife, cut into eight neat rectangles and place meringues on the top of each stack. Dust the meringues with edible gold shimmer to give them a festive glow and serve with vanilla ice cream and poached blueberries.
Get the Taste Strattons
Ash Close Swaffham Norfolk
01760 723845 www.strattonshotel.com