The sixth signature of Bake Off 2019 was to make a layered meringue cake with at least 3 layers and large enough to share with friends. We saw Paul Hollywood say that chocolate didn’t go with raspberry, meringue and cream (which is factually incorrect) and unfortunately Priya bombed out of the competition! I took inspiration from Steph’s Eton Mess Meringue Cake and put pistachios and white chocolate into my meringue, as well as some matcha powder, and came up with my Pistachio Matcha Layered Meringue Cake.
Pistachios and meringue go hand in hand in my opinion; the green colour of the pistachios lends a stark yet stunning contrast to the white meringue and pistachios are just so tasty! The thing about pistachios is that they are a really luxurious ingredient to me but you only need a small amount of them in this recipe to make an awesome showstopping dessert!
And to match the green colour of the pistachios, I decided to go for a matcha white chocolate buttercream filling for this meringue cake, again providing both a flavour and visual contrast to the meringue. I finish the cake with a drizzle of dark chocolate which adds a pop of colour and makes the meringue stand out!
The great thing with meringue as a medium for baking is that it lends itself to getting creative and decorative with your bake. It’s the perfect medium for piping and when it’s made properly, it will maintain its shape after baking too and the definition from piping stays. Hence I use a large star tip and a small swirl nozzle to pipe my layers of meringue for this cake and a tip with lots of ridges for the matcha buttercream. You will need quite a few piping bags for this recipe but they are pretty affordable these days and you can get really good quality ones from pound shops!
Any leftover meringue mixture can be made into little meringues that can be eaten on their own or placed on top of the cake to act as decoration.
Check out my video guide on making my Pistachio Matcha Layered Meringue Cake below!
For the meringue layers:
- 125g egg whites (about 3 large egg whites)
- 250g granulated sugar
- 30g roasted pistachios, crushed
- 1 tsp desiccated coconut
For the matcha white chocolate buttercream:
- 100g margarine
- 140g icing sugar
- 100g white chocolate
- 1 tsp matcha powder
For the decoration:
- 20g roasted pistachios
- 20g dark chocolate, melted
Preheat the oven to 120˚C. Draw around the base of a loaf tin on a sheet of parchment 3 times for the 3 layers. Turn the parchment over so the drawn side is touching the baking tray and set aside.
Place the egg whites into a large clean metal mixing bowl and with an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites into soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar one spoonful at a time and continue whisking the meringue until the sugar has dissolved (test this by rubbing the mixture between your fingers and it should be smooth) and it holds stiff peaks.
Place half of the meringue into a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip nozzle. Place about a quarter of the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a small swirl tip nozzle. Taking the large piping bag and pipe a border of large blobs of meringue around each marked layer on the parchment. Then use a palette knife to spread a layer of the remaining meringue to cover the centre. Repeat with the other two layers. Use the smaller piping bag to pipe swirls on top of the base and then top two of the layers with chopped pistachios and the other with desiccated coconut. Any leftover meringue can be made into little meringues for decoration.
Bake the meringues for around 1 hour 15 minutes until the meringue is crisp and lifts off the tray neatly (although be careful when checking this so as not to break the meringue, but not to worry if this happens as it can be used for the middle layer). Lift the meringues to a cooling rack and allow to cool fully.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water and leave to cool slightly. For the buttercream, beat the margarine until it is softened and fluffier. Add the icing sugar in two batches, beating well between each addition until it is soft and fluffy and it is smooth. Add the white chocolate and beat it into the buttercream, it should firm up slightly. Sift over the matcha powder using a tea strainer and beat to incorporate. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a decorative nozzle.
On a serving plate with a strip of baking parchment, place one layer of the meringue and pipe the matcha buttercream in the same fashion as the meringue; a border of the buttercream piped using the nozzle and then the centre smoothed out with a palette knife and topped with crushed pistachios. Repeat the next layer and then top with the most decorative meringue layer (which should be intact, ideally).
Sprinkle over a few more crushed pistachios on the top layer and top with any little meringues you made. Drizzle the dark chocolate over the meringue cake and leave the chocolate to set before slicing and serving the meringue.