Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Cookbook Challenge - Week 12 - Eggs - Strawberry Vacherin

I'm late, I know. I'm sorry. No excuses, I just didn't have time. Don't ask me what I was doing, I have no idea how I had no time this week, I'm not convinced I was actually doing anything, sometimes it just happens that way, that you're busiest when you're not. I always fit more in when I'm busy than when I'm free.

And, the recipe I chose this week was a bit of a production. I had ten egg whites in the freezer which I needed to stop adding to and start using (I have a weakness for carbonara pasta) so I knew my egg recipe needed to involve egg whites rather than whole eggs. Plus, I had a bunch of ingredients that I wanted to start using up, rather than adding more specialty ingredients to my baking pantry - I can't believe how lucky I am to have a dedicated pantry for these things!

When I came across the Strawberry Vacherin in delicious. magazine from May 2002, it was perfect. The only thing I had to purchase was strawberries for decoration. 

With flagrant disregard for food safety I took six egg whites out of the freezer (I freeze them in pairs in bags) before I went to work in the morning and left them on the bench so they'd be room temperature and ready for action when I got home. Turns out food safety was not to be my downfall..... I got a voicemail message about 4.30pm - "did you have eggs or something in plastic bags out? There's goo all over the floor. I'm running late for the cricket, I cleaned it off the carpet, but not the tiles, don't slip". That'll teach me.

Cats. I love them, but apparently the bench is their favourite playing surface when I'm not home. The bags of egg whites had been redistributed across the lounge and kitchen floors, and bitten into so that they'd all oozed out. The little buggers hadn't even tried to eat any of it, it seems they were just interested in making mess. 

Once I'd cleaned that up on my return home, the remaining four egg whites were removed from the freezer, and defrosted very carefully in the microwave. At least I'd achieved my goal of using up the egg whites in the freezer! In fact, I now have an egg yolk in my freezer, since I had to use an extra egg white. 

I also used some of the 1.2kg of Toblerone we were given for Christmas.

Ignore the missing Toblerones - they may have ended up in my belly

The recipe specified toasting and grinding whole almonds, but I already had almond meal, so I substituted it with no great dramas.

I would make this again (keeping in mind the proclivities of my cats) but I'd layer strawberries on the inside as well as on top, to counter the sweetness, and would halve (at least) the icing sugar in the cream. 

Strawberry Vacherin - delicious. May 2002

175g almond meal 
5 egg whites
225g caster sugar
110g melted butter, cooled
70g plain flour, sifted
300m thickened cream
150g pure icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g Toblerone chocolate
250g strawberries

I love it when I pour the exact amount first go - this time I managed it twice. Small joys.

Preheat your oven to 120 degrees. Cut three 20cm circles from non-stick baking paper, grease one side of each circle, and place greased side up on baking trays. The easiest way to do this is to trace around a 20cm cake tin, unless you have 20cm plates, in which case that would work too.

Beat together the egg whites and half the caster sugar, until stiff, then add the almond meal and remaining sugar and stir to combine.

Gently fold in the butter and flour (I almost forgot the butter and was wondering why the mixture seemed so dry, so it got a little more folding than it should have, but it was still ok).

Spread onto the baking paper circles to about 1cm thick, and bake for 50 minutes, then peel off the paper and set aside to cool.
I probably didn't really need to use the twins, but.....

Whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract together until thick, and set aside.

Melt the Toblerone - delicious. recommend using a a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, but I used the microwave - be warned if using the microwave, Toblerone will hold its shape, but still be melted, so check it by stirring regularly.

Place one meringue circle on a plate, spread with half the Toblerone and top with a third of the cream. Place a meringue circle on top of that, spread with the remaining Toblerone, and half the remaining cream. Top with the last meringue circle, and the rest of the cream. Quarter the strawberries and arrange on top. Dust with icing sugar.

There you go, that's something by Kate.


  1. That looks delicious, Kate! And maybe, just maybe, the cats saved you from food poisoning from your benchtop defrosted whites (if you look at it that way, it might be less annoying).. :)

    Adore the twin ovens! I can perfectly understand buying a house because it had those!

    Cheers, Celia

  2. that looks so delicious! yummmmm

  3. This was an awesome dessert - and I should know, I ate 3/4 of it myself! It got less sweet a day or so later.

    I still haven't forgiven the cats.

  4. Hehee, I had to laugh about your cats pulling the egg whites on to the floor! Ahh well, you have to love them. :)

    The dessert looks delicious - omg melted Toblerone!

  5. holycrap i'm going to stop looking at your blog now. i'm going into sugar coma. and i pride myself on not being a dessert person. you make me feel like baking and that would be bad.

  6. I'd never thought that I made sweets that often, and believed I was more of a savoury cook, but doing this blog is proving me wrong. Thankfully this week's theme lent itself to a more savoury dish, although I still made Bill's chocolate pudding again this week!


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