Meringue cake with nuts – Weekends – Kommersant

Meringue cake with nuts – Weekends – Kommersant

About fifteen years ago, for my birthday, I composed a dessert based on the famous “Kiev Cake”, which was invented exactly in the year of my birth – in 1956, in the confectionery factory in Kiev named Karl Marks. Dad brought it from a business trip to Kiev for my eighteenth birthday – the cake amazed me. I later found out that everyone had brought it from there and that it was generally one of the sights of the Ukrainian capital. Like many famous dishes, it has its own legend. Like, once the pastry chefs forgot to put the beaten proteins in the fridge for tomorrow biscuits. At night in the hot kitchen, they hardened and were no longer suitable for light dough. In order not to be thrown away, the proteins were mixed with crushed walnuts, laid out in a pan and dried – crunchy cakes were made, which were spread with butter cream and voila, everything turned out, like the Tatin sisters, who “accidentally” cooks their already textbook pie upside down.

In fact, Kievsky had authors – a young practicing confectioner Nadezhda Chernogor, which was fond of gastronomic decor, and an experienced technologist Konstantin Petrenko. Nadya took as a basis the recipe for French dacquoise (this is a cake made with thin layers of almond-meringue layered with butter-chocolate cream), made the meringues more fluffy and crunchy, added sweetened fruit (as in Kiev jam), replaced expensive almonds with cheap cashews at the time (but there were plenty of nuts), butter cream – in the chocolate cream egg carrot and came up with a decor: pink cream bouquet of Chestnuts loved by Kievans, cream-green leaves, a white mesh, a boiling chocolate along the edge and sprinkling walnut on the sides – the result was an image of generosity, even surplus near Ukrainian cuisine. A little later, the cashew was replaced with hazelnuts, and the cake itself was thrown into the river and he began to collect reward after reward. With his help, in the USSR, they opened the doors of good doctors, hotel administrators, offices of all kinds of other necessary people and bosses.

I slightly changed my house “Kievskiy”. From the “truth” I got my favorite thing in it – lush and crunchy meringue cakes with a generous filling of nuts. I make it with lightly toasted nuts – they are crispier and lighter than hazelnuts. In the role of sweetened fruit – dried cranberries, which perfectly promote the sweetness of meringue. The cream is a light egg charlotte. For the role of decor I chose dried almond petals and if possible fresh berries. It’s not hard to do, but neither is it fast. But the cake is big – almost on a baking sheet.

The main thing is to lay out in advance and bring all the products to room temperature, and beat the whites well. To do this, it is better to grease the mixer bowl with lemon and lightly grease it with salt. Start beating on low speed until foamy. Then gradually increase the speed, adding fine sugar in small portions. Beat the egg whites until they become firm and shiny yeast. With the last part of the sugar add the starch and the skin and at the end mix carefully 2 cups of roasted grated walnuts. Divide the meringue in half and place in two baking trays lined with parchment paper. We will bake the two cakes at once (they should be placed on top of each other, but in order to have at least 5-6 cm between them) in a preheated oven at 150 ° C for 30 minutes. Then you need to lower the temperature to 100 ° C and leave for another 1.5-2 hours until it dries. Cooking aromatic vanilla cream. In a saucepan mix the yolks, sugar, milk and flour. Add the vanilla peel cut lengthwise and cook, stirring constantly, over the lowest heat (but preferably in a water bath) until thickened. It’s about fifteen minutes – the hand falls, but you realize that everything is for the sake of your loved ones. You should get a soft cream. Now you can remove the vanilla and cool. Meanwhile beat the softened butter until white. Continuing to beat, gradually add the cream. In half of the finished cream, mix the dried cranberries washed with warm water – I spread this part on the surface of the first cake with meringue. Cover it with a second cake – coat it on top and side with the remaining blueberry-free cream and sprinkle it also on top and side with dried almond petals. On top of them, while the cream has not yet hardened, you can arrange the berries in a picturesque way.

1 walnut (3 cups)

2 eggs (10 pieces)

3 finely crushed sugar (2 cups for cakes + 1 cup for cream)

4 corn starch (1.5 tablespoons)

5 dried cranberries (1 cup)

6 Butter at room temperature (about 160 g)

7 Whole milk (1 cup)

8 flour (2 tablespoons)

9 vanilla (1 pod or 2 teaspoons extract)

10 lemons (1 piece)

11 dried almond flakes, fresh berries (to taste)

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