The Pocket Bakery
A cake that is made like a meringue, but once made is more like a cake, being packed full of fruit and nuts. The texture is similar to a macaroon, being soggy and sticky inside. Ever since making this cake for the first time 20 years ago, I have been amazed by the flavour: a natural toffee taste that emerges when you combine the pecans – no other nut will do – with the other preserved fruits. I have served this cake as an alternative Christmas cake, to great applause.
You Will Need
Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas mark 2 and prepare the baking sheets and rings. Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Turn up the speed to full and whisk for about 10 minutes until the mixture forms stiff peaks when you draw a spoon through it.
Fold the chopped pecans and dried fruits into the meringue, making sure they are evenly distributed. Place a cake ring on each baking sheet and spoon an even amount of the mixture into them. Smooth the surface with a spatula but lift it quickly in places to create little peaks that will look crisp and delicious when the cake is finished.
Bake for 35–40 minutes, until the cakes are pale brown. They may crack in places but it does not matter. Allow both cakes to cool completely, then turn one cake carefully over and place it on a cake stand or plate. Spread the cream all over the surface, then add your chosen fruit. Cover with the second cake, lifting it on carefully so as not to crack it.