Of all the desserts I’ve ever eaten, this is my absolute favorite. I found the recipe in Nigella Lawson’s book, Forever Summer, many years ago and made it one evening on a whim. I had invited a dear friend and her children over for dinner. Her husband had deployed to an overseas location that day. The first day my husband leaves is always the hardest – the deployment seems infinite, I’m a bit weepy, and I prefer to spend time with a good friend to get over the hump of the first dinner and evening as a split family. Anna’s husband had just left, so I wanted to treat her and the kids and help them get over that hump. We had a lovely meal out on the back porch. The kids ran around in the yard, we enjoyed great conversation and we closed the evening with this strawberry meringue cake. Between the two of us and our kids, we devoured the cake in one sitting. It was just that good.
I’ve since adapted the recipe so it’s grain-free and still just as delicious. Two thin cake layers are topped with meringue and almonds and baked until just golden brown. When cooled, you invert one on a cake plate, cover it with honey-sweetened whipped cream and berries and then put the other cake layer on top. It’s subtly sweet, decadent and makes for a lovely presentation.
This cake would go nicely to finish off your Independence Day BBQ this weekend. You can even add some blueberries or blackberries for a festive red, white and blue theme.