When we visited Conor and ‘the Wife’ in Tipperary, she made us a wonderful meringue cake with raspberries using her mother’s recipe. It was lovely and we loved it. I decided then and there that I would bake one too, using Italian amarena cherries instead of raspberries as they are great with almonds. Amarena cherries are dark sour cherries from the region of Emilia Romagna, sold in jars with syrup. They are very aromatic and have great depth of flavor.
In honor of Noreen’s recipe I’m also calling this a meringue cake, but it is also known as pavlova. This type of cake was invented in Australia or New Zealand in the 1920s to honor the tour of a Pavlova the Russian ballet dancer. A pavlova consists of meringue that is crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, whipped cream, and fruit. As I had expected, the combination with beautiful Italian amerena cherries was simply divine.
To gild the lily you could garnish with shaved dark chocolate. Chocolate goes well with cherries and with almonds, so it is no surprise it is great with this cake. You could serve 6-8 with this cake, but just like the Tipperary version with raspberries it was no problem at all to polish it off with a party of only 4…
125 grams (4 large) egg whites
250 grams (1 1/4 cup) white caster sugar
1/2 tsp of almond essence
1/2 tsp of white vinegar
125 grams (1 cup) of almonds
pinch of salt
1 large jar (600 grams) of Italian amarena cherries in syrup
250 ml (1 cup) whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk until quite stiff. Add the vinegar, almond extract, and salt, and continue to whip until ‘stiff peaks’ are obtained. Slowly add the sugar while whipping until it has been incorporated.
This calls for a red dessert wine. My favorite is Recioto della Valpolicella, which is a sweet Valpolicella made from dried grapes.
Two years ago I posted about ravioli stuffed with lamb and eggplant. It is a recipe I developed myself that turned out absolutely delicious.