Fes­tive ap­ple meringue cake

Essex Life - - CONTENTS -

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.


(Serves eight)

For the meringues 50g of egg whites 100g of caster sugar

For the vanilla sponge

400g of but­ter

400g of caster sugar

8 eggs

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

To fin­ish

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

PE37 7NH

01760 723845 www.strat­ton­shotel.com

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