Last week I sent David to the grocery store with a list. I’d put eggs on the list since we were almost out. So he came home with a dozen.
Then he went home teaching. His companion has chickens, his wife and kids are out of town, and he’s got more eggs than he knows what to do with. So David came home with a dozen more.
So I did what any rational person would do when you have that many eggs on hand: I made meringue.
And a three-layer cake.
And some strawberry puree.
And I put it all together and it looked like this:
And we ate it all up. Yum.
Vanilla Cake w/ Strawberries & Meringue
recipe from love & olive oil
3 3/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 1/3 cup buttermilk
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
Combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together. Add the butter and 1 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. With a hand mixer on low speed, blend briefly; then raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk until well blended. Pour one-third of the egg mixture into the cake batter at a time, folding it in completely after each addition. There will be 9 cups of batter; our 3 cups batter into each pan.
Bake for 26 to 28 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn the layers out onto wire racks by placing a rack on top of a pan, inverting it, and lifting off the pan. Peel off the paper liners and let cool completely.
4 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
With the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on high until light and frothy. With mixer still on high, slowly pour in sugar and continue whipping until stiff glossy peaks form.
Blend together a handful of fresh or frozen strawberries and a tablespoon or two of water. Stir half the puree with about a half cup of meringue; leave the rest of the puree as is.
Even out cake layers if necessary by slicing off domed tops with a long serrated knife. Spread bottom layer with about 1/4 cup of strawberry puree, leaving about an inch of bare cake around the edge. Then spread puree/meringue mixture over that, still leaving an inch bare. Top with another cake layer. Spread with puree and puree/meringue mixture like before. Top with last cake layer. Frost with meringue, swirling and creating peaks with your spatula (to make it pretty!).
At this point you have two options: use a blow torch like I did (I actually had David do it for me) or place the entire cake in the oven on broil for like 30 seconds. (Don’t do option #2 if your cake is on a non-oven-safe plate. I’m sure you could’ve figured that out, but better safe than sorry.)
Slice and enjoy!