The proper name for this, and the name we always called it was Mandlekuchen, which simply means ‘almond cake’.
This is a real 1970’s classic, and was my Mother’s signature piece. I can remember being allowed to help out at a dinner party at home, and hearing her best friend Frankie exclaim in her wonderful posh drawl “Pauline, this is your symphony!”. I think of them both when I make this. Both Mom and Frankie are gone now, but the memories, and the symphony, live on.
The almonds make the meringue really chewy, probably a pre-cursor of today’s fashionable macaroons,and give the whole thing a wonderful texture. Naturally, this is Death on a plate for my nut allergic daughter, so I leave it to my sister to pull this one out of the hat when I visit!
I am still looking for something I can use that will give me the texture it needs, an ordinary meringue just won’t do it. My Thanks to my sister Mary for the picture – it’s just as I remember it!
- 2x 8 inch flan dishes, lightly oiled, and lined with silicone paper
- an electric beater
- a gorgeous cake plate to display your creation
- 4 large fresh eggs, separated
- 8oz caster sugar
- 6oz of ground almonds
- 1 pint of double cream
- 1 lb raspberries
- Spread the ground almonds over a baking tray, and toast in a moderate oven for about 8-10 mins until lightly browned
- Allow to cool
- Put the egg whites into a spotlessly clean bowl, and whisk until stiff. Add a tablespoon of caster sugar at a time and continue beating until very stiff
- Remove the beaters, and, using a metal spoon, gently fold in the almonds
- Divide the mixture evenly between the two flan tins
- Cook in a moderate oven, about 160 for 40 minutes
- Allow to cool in the tins
- Whip the cream until stiff
- About 3-4 hours before you wish to serve it, remove the cakes from the tin, and sandwich together using 1/2 the cream and 2/3rds of the raspberries onto your gorgeous plate, you could gently crush some of the raspberries, to let the juices run a little.
- Spread the rest of the cream over the top and sides (this not for the faint-hearted, remember it’s a 1970’s desert!), and decorate with the rest of the berries.
- Allow to sit in the fridge if you have space, or in a very cool area. Cover to keep the cat off. Remove from the fridge about 30 mins before serving
- Stand by for silence while it’s being eaten, and then lavish compliments!