Meringue Christmas Tree with whipped coconut cream, raspberries and white chocolate truffles – a spectacular festive dessert!
It’s December 1st and Supergolden Bakes turns the ripe old age of FOUR!!!! I feel like the exclamation points and all caps are allowed, I am so excited to have reached this milestone. The past year has been the most thrilling in the life cycle of the blog and in the way the blog has changed my own life. It has morphed from a diverting side project into my full-time occupation – yes I think I can officially call myself a ‘full-time blogger’. Blogger, recipe developer, food photographer and all-round mess maker. My husband recently joked that he would start a blog titled ‘married to a food blogger’… I am sure it would bring a whole new perspective to the inner workings of Supergolden Bakes, but he promised to shelve it for the sake of our marriage.
Anyway, a big blog birthday deserves a spectacular celebration cake, don’t you think? This year it is a Meringue Christmas tree inspired by Food to Love magazine. It is such a divine winter dessert, snowy white and perfect for the festive season. Despite the showy looks, it is actually really easy to make – the meringue layers can be baked in advance and the ‘tree’ assembled just before you are ready to serve. I treated myself (well, the blog!) to a big present in the form of a TKMaxx trip for wonderful new props. I always visit TKMaxx at the beginning of December as they have an amazing array of festive decorations and gifts on offer. This year they truly outdid themselves, I wanted to practically move in to the shop. But I also wanted to give something back, so make sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a £100 voucher to spend in TKMaxx or Homesense!
The cake is tall but fairly small, however it can be sized up very easily as the meringue works on a simple ratio of twice the amount of sugar to egg whites. You can make it vegan two by simply replacing the egg whites with aquafaba – the method works in precisely the same way. For filling use the coconut or chocolate mousse recipe but doubled. I also made a mulled port berry coulis to drizzle on this – it is delicious but make sure it is added at the last minute otherwise your lovely meringue will start to wilt.
- For the meringue
- 150g | 5.3oz egg whites
- 300g | 10.5oz caster sugar
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- a little cornflour (cornstarch) to dust the trays
- For the filling
- 300g | 10.5oz double cream
- 150g | 5.3oz chilled coconut milk
- 100g | 3.5oz icing sugar (more or less, to taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- ¼ tsp coconut extract
- Mulled berry coulis
- 150g | 5.3oz frozen mixed berries
- 6 tbsp tawny port or red wine
- 2-3 tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick
- To assemble and decorate
- 150g | 5.3oz fresh raspberries
- white chocolate truffles (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 150C | 300F and set two shelves in the middle of the oven.
- Trace three circles on greaseproof paper - mine where 16,11 and 7cm, but you can trace them wider as long as the are decreasing in size so that they can be stacked to create the 'tree'. You will have enough meringue to create duplicates of the smaller layers plus a few kisses. Base your biggest circle on the diameter of the cake stand or plate you plan on using.
- Place your tracings on two baking trays and dust with a little cornflour.
- Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Start whisking at medium-low speed and gradually increase the speed to maximum until you have soft peaks.
- Start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, while whisking. Continue whisking for several minutes until all the sugar is added and meringue forms firm peaks. Beat it the vanilla paste until combined.
- Fill the circles you traced with meringue using a spoon to shape it. Pipe any extra merigue into kisses using a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 120C (250F) and bake for an hour and half to two hours, rotating the trays halway through, until dry to the touch.
- Turn the oven off. Leave the meringues in to cool completely with the door open.
- Make the coulis: put all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes until the fruit is softened. Leave to cool then strain the syrup and set aside.
- Beat the chilled coconut milk and double cream until you have soft peaks. Add the icing sugar, vanilla paste and coconut extract and whisk until you have firm peaks. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Assemble the meringue tree by piping the whipped cream over the base layer and dotting with raspberries and white chocolate truffles (if using).
- Repeat with remaining layers. Top the tree with a meringue kiss or the smallest circle and drizzle with the coulis just before serving.