French Meringue Layer Cake


by: Baker Guy

Meringue’s fragile, brittle, and instant melt-in-the-mouth texture makes up for its lack of flavor. Meringue is never served alone but is juxtaposed with cakes, frostings, ice cream, or other mixtures to provide a bit of crunch. French meringue is made by beating sugar with egg whites until the mixture is very stiff. On a humid day confectioners’ sugar is folded into the mixture to keep it crunchy once baked. Here we make meringue disks for a cake. Circles of crisp meringue make wonderful cake layers because their crunchiness contrasts beautifully with the delicate texture of most cakes and frostings. You can make a cake with just meringue disks and frosting such as whipped chocolate ganache, or for greater drama, alternate meringue disks with layers made from a soft cake. You can adjust the thickness of the meringue layers by using different diameter tips with the pastry bag when you pipe out the rounds. Keep in mind that thinner rounds should be used in cakes that have lighter fillings; if the meringue is too thick and hard, the filling will ooze out when you try to cut or slice the cake. Meringue is ideally baked very slowly so that it dries out rather than actually cooks. If the oven is too hot or the meringue left in too long, it will turn ivory or even brown and the bright snowy white effect will be lost. A convection oven is great for making meringue because the moving air accelerates the drying.


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serves: 1

5 egg whites

cream of tartar (a small pinch, unless using a copper bowl)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup and 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar (if it is very humid)

Nutrition Facts
French Meringue Layer Cake

Servings Per Recipe: 1

Amount per Serving

Calories: 1651

  • Total Fat: 0.3 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 0 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 280.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 405.4 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  •     Sugars: 401.6 g
  • Protein: 18 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar (if using) on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar, and beat for 4 minutes longer, or until stiff peaks form. For meringue that is impervious to humidity, fold in the confectioners' sugar.

2.  Preheat the oven to 300°F. Draw circles on a sheet of parchment paper, put a dollop of meringue in each corner of a sheet pan to hold the paper in place, and place the paper over on the sheet pan. Select a tip about the same size as the desired thickness of the rounds and fill the pastry bag with the meringue.

3.  Starting at the center of each circle, pipe the meringue, gradually working out in a spiral pattern, until you have filled the circle. To end the piping, quickly pull back the tip, reversing its direction.

4.  Put the meringue in the oven and turn down the oven to 225°F. If you have a convection oven, turn it down to 200°F and put on the convection. Bake for 2 to 4 hours, depending on the humidity, until hard and no longer sticky to the touch.

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