This amazing dessert cake is deceiving. She looks totally top end and yet is really quite straight forward to make – the best thing about it is that you really can get ahead because this cake has to sit in the fridge for 24 hours before serving. !! Gluten free too !
Preheat the oven to 120 degrees fan
Start by drawing 3 x 18cm circles on two sheets of baking parchment (two on one and one on the other) then turn the papers upside down onto the baking sheets so that the pencil or pen will not come into contact with the meringue. I use the loose bottom of a cake tin as a template.
In a large, clean roomy mixing bowl whisk up the egg whites until stiff peaks form then add the caster sugar which has been mixed with the cream of tartar 1 tbsp at a time, whisking well between each addition. Your finished meringue will be thick, glossy and standing in stiff peaks. Fold in the ground almonds lightly – don’t be tempted to whisk them in.
Load a large piping bag and pipe three circles, starting in the middle and finishing at your pencil line. Transfer the piped meringues to the preheated oven and bake for one and a quarter hours. They are fully cooked when they can be peeled from the papers easily. If the circles are tacky pop them back into the oven upside down for 10 minutes more. Leave to cool completely.
To prepare the filling: Place the soft apricots, lemon zest, amaretto, almond extract and caster sugar into a roomy bowl then pour over the boiling water. Leave to steep until cool then blitz together with a hand blender. Check for sweetness and stir in more sugar if you prefer. You will have a smooth thick puree which tastes delicious. Ps if your apricots are not really soft and squishy then cook them in the boiling water for about 20 minutes until soft then simply blitz as above.
Whisk the double cream to soft peaks then fold in ¾ of the apricot puree. Use this mixture to sandwich the three meringues together. Coat the sides of the dacquoise too.
Place in the fridge for 24 hours.
The next day decorate the sides with the toasted almonds by simply sticking them to the cream. Dust over the top meringue with sifted icing sugar and use the remainder of the apricot puree to pipe over and decorate.
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