So after deciding that I needed to branch out my ideas a little more in my review for the hazelnut and raspberry baked cheesecake brownie at Olive and Bean last week, I have completely contradicted myself already. I think it’s safe to say that my raspberry, hazelnut and meringue squares might not be the most original, but they are pretty yummy so, again, it’s a very sorry not sorry situation.
As I am currently living the life of a lady of leisure at the moment, you would probably think I had plenty of time to bake plenty of complicated, extravagant and interesting things. However, I have to admit that yet again I am going for the spontaneous/ last minute approach, and decided to do my take on whatever caught my eye on the BBC Good Food website. Again, I do apologise, but I’m sure you can find it in your heart to forgive me, especially because I do have a few more interesting ideas up my sleeve.
Through risk of making what need not be a ramble a ramble, I will keep this blog post fairly brief. This is partially because I can’t really take any credit for the changes as I only made a few minor alterations from the original recipe. AKA I basically just changed the nuts and the fruit so it’s basically cheating calling this my recipe, but as long as no one tells the BBC we’re ok! For once the whole thing went relatively smoothly (although enlisting the help of a boyfriend who can’t even separate eggs might not be the wisest) and, being modest, they were pretty tasty. Of course I had to scoff some before they cooled, but the raspberry through the meringue really complimented the sweetness of the sponge and the hazelnut and apple added a little more texture. The meringue was still lovely and soft, and really complimented the whole thing. You can easily make this without the meringue if you are feeling a little lazy, but either way I hope enjoy!
Raspberry, Hazelnut and Meringue Squares (makes approx. 16 squares)
For the Sponge:
- 150g raspberries
- 140g margarine
- 140g golden caster sugar
- 1 egg and 2 yolks, beaten together
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 150g self-raising flour
- 50g ground almond
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 large cooking apple, peeled and sliced
- 150g hazelnuts, some left whole and some chopped
For the Meringue:
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1-2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
- a little icing sugar, to dust (optional)
- Take 25g of raspberries and pop them in a small bowl and cover with clingfilm. Microwave for 30 seconds, then mash together. Set to one side
- Preheat your oven to 160C/ 140 Fan.
- Put the margarine and sugar in a bowl and cream until pale and smooth.
- Add the eggs and the vanilla essence and mix together.
- Add the flour, almonds and baking powder, then mix again to form a think batter.
- Stir in the hazelnuts, then tip into a lined baking tray.
- Push the raspberries into the mix and then smooth some batter over the top.
- Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden and a skewer comes out clean. Leave the oven on.
- While the sponge is baking, make the meringue by whisking the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then adding the sugar teaspoon by teaspoon to form a glossy mix. Continue to whisk on a high speed until all the sugar has dissolved. Swirl through the raspberry mix you made at the beginning.
- Pipe the meringue onto the sponge layer in blobs, then put back in the oven for 12 minutes.
- Take out the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
N.B. You will have extra meringue, so just pipe the rest onto a baking tray, bake for 30 minutes and turn the oven off and leave in for at least an hour.