Today is my mother-in-law's birthday! Happy Birthday! She requested a meringue cake, so I made the one she always makes for me. The great thing about this cake is that it's so light, you don't feel like you've eaten a ton afterwards. Yum! I took a picture with someone else's camera, so I'll have to see if I can get it.
Meringue Cake with Berries and Cream
6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4-6 cups berries, sliced as needed
2 T sugar
For the meringue:
In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp vanilla, sugar, and cream of tartar. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. With the mixer on high, add the sugar mixture, a tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. Continue to beat until egg whites are shiny and form stiff peaks.
Preheat oven to 200F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Trace two 8- or 9-inch circles on one sheet and one matching circle on the second sheet (so you will have three circles total). Divide the meringue into thirds, and spread each third over one of the circles, smoothing out the top as much as possible. Bake at 200F for at least 2 hours, or up to 4. When done, they should sound hollow when tapped lightly in the center of the circle (they won't ever get overdone, so don't worry about checking them often). Turn off the heat and let cool in the oven for 1 hour, then remove to an airtight container, being sure to place waxed or parchment paper between each round. As long as they are in an airtight container, they can keep for a long time, so you can make the meringue several days ahead if you'd like.
Just prior to serving, beat the whipping cream in a large bowl with 1 tsp vanilla and powdered sugar until it looks like whipped cream, about 5 minutes on high. Slice the berries if needed and toss with 2 T sugar.
Place one meringue round on a large serving platter or plate. Top with 1/3 of the whipped cream, then a layer of berries. Top with another meringue round, more cream and more berries. Finish with the final meringue round, and the remaining cream and berries. Serve immediately.