A popular Latvian meringue dessert often made at home for birthdays and other celebrations. Recipe courtesy of Chef Arturs Trinkuns of 3 Pavaru Restaurant in Riga, Latvia.
Read more about Latvia in Cravings, Courage and Culinary Discovery in Latvia by Barbara Balfour.
For the 3 meringue biscuits
- 400 grams sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 2 tbsp potato flour
- 250 grams hazelnuts
- pinch of salt
- Parchment paper, butter for greasing, two baking trays
For the cream filling
- 6 egg yolks
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 40 grams water
- 300 grams soft unsalted butter
- 3-4 tbsp cocoa
- 150 grams condensed milk
- 25 grams liqueur such as rum, cognac or brandy
For the glaze
- 100 grams dark chocolate
- 50 ml cream
- 50-100 grams hazelnuts
For the meringue
- Use a food processor or a knife to roughly chop the nuts.
- Turn the oven on at 150° C (300° F) in fan mode. Line three baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Draw a circle 26 cm in diameter in the middle of each baking tray.
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Place the yolks in the refrigerator. Add egg whites to a large bowl and begin to foam with a hand beater. Add a pinch of salt. When it becomes white and thick, gradually add in the sugar. Finally, mix in the potato flour and chopped nuts.
- Spoon the meringues within the circles on your baking trays, then put in the oven. After 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 110° C (230° F) and bake for one more hour. Leave the biscuits to cool overnight in the oven.
For the filling (to be made the next day):
- Boil the water and sugar until it becomes dissolved into a thin syrup. Add the hot syrup to a bowl with the egg yolks and whisk together, then add butter, cocoa, condensed milk and liqueur of your choice. Cool the cream in the refrigerator.
- Remove the baking paper from the base of each meringue and gently flip them over. Start with one meringue on the bottom of your serving platter of choice and spread 1/3 of the filling on it leaving a 2 cm border from the edge. Put the second meringue on top and repeat, then add the remaining layer on the third.
For the glaze
- Combine the chocolate and cream in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of hot water, then keep stirring until smooth.
- Decorate cake as desired and leave in the fridge for 3 hours before serving.