Red Berry, Star Anise and Almond Crunch Meringue Torte

, from Issue #45. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Red Berry, Star Anise and Almond Crunch Meringue Torte

Everyone needs an over-the-top, scrumptious dessert once in a while, and this one ticks all the boxes!

Serves: 8–10


6 egg whites
1½ cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract with star anise
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¾ cup whole skin-on almonds, roasted and roughly chopped

Raspberry coulis
300 grams raspberries
3 tablespoons icing sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice

Almond Praline
¾ cup whole, skin on almonds, roasted
¾ cup caster sugar
1/3 cup water 

To assemble
1½ cups cream, softly whipped
2 punnets raspberries
1 punnet strawberries, halved or quartered
praline almonds
icing sugar for dusting


Line two baking trays with baking paper and draw a 20 cm circle on each.

Preheat the oven to 120˚C.

Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then gradually add the sugar. Whisk until thick and glossy and the sugar is dissolved. Undissolved sugar will cause the meringue to weep.

Using a large metal spoon, fold in the cornflour, lemon juice, vanilla, spices and the almonds. Spoon half the meringue into the centre of each circle and spread evenly, swirling to make soft peaks. Bake for 1 hour alternating the trays half way through then the turn the oven off and leave the meringues inside to cool. Don’t open the door as this should help prevent the meringue from cracking.

Coulis: Put the raspberries, icing sugar and lime juice in a food processor and process until smooth. Press through a sieve and discard the seeds.

Almond praline: Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes without stirring, until a good caramel colour. Take off the heat, add the nuts and swirl to coat them all in the caramel. Tip onto a lightly oiled baking tray and leave to cool. Roughly chop and store in an airtight container.

To assemble: Place one meringue on a serving plate and spread over half the cream. Hull 1 punnet of the raspberries and half the strawberries and scatter over the cream. Top with the second meringue and pile on the remaining cream. Top with the remaining unhulled raspberries and strawberries and drizzle with some of the coulis. Scatter with some of the praline almonds and dust with icing sugar. Serve the extra coulis and praline almonds separately. 

Pantry note: Equagold vanilla and star anise extract is available from good food stores. If unavailable use plain vanilla extract. 

Roasted almonds are available in the loose bins at supermarkets.