Having a search through my baking books for something to experiment with this week, I came across a book that we have in stock in the shop – Ladies, a Plate, based on traditional New Zealand bakery recipes. There are lots of fabulous recipes, some versions of our classics, as well as those born and baked in New Zealand.
Whilst I was flicking through, I came across a baked slice called a ‘Louise Cake’. My search was over; that’s the one! How could I not bake my namesake cake! Plus, shortcake, raspberry, meringue and coconut all in one, sounds good to me. I did make a few tweaks to the recipe, but the overall cake itself is the same.
As I’m on a pre-wedding/wedding dress diet for the new year and I’m being extra good, I passed up on the taste-testing and my Swan Yard colleagues were my guinea pigs. Their verdict was ‘flipping tasty’… Excellent!
What we use and how we do it!
For the Shortcake
- 70g Netherend Dairy slightly salted butter
- 110g caster sugar
- 2 medium, organic, free-range egg yolks
- 150g Shipton Mill organic self-raising flour
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 1tsp Neilsen Massey vanilla extract
For the Raspberry Filling
- Tiptree ‘Tiny Tip’ raspberry preserve
For the Coconut Meringue
- 2 medium, organic, free-range egg whites
- 140g caster sugar
- 55g desiccated coconut
- Preheat your oven to 180C, and line a 13″ x 8″ baking tin, or similar with greaseproof paper.
- Add the butter and sugars to a large mixing bowl, and either by hand or an electric whisk, cream the ingredients together. This is easier if the butter is softened but mixing.
- Separate the egg yolks, and keep the whites aside for the meringue topping.
- Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract and lemon juice to the creamed mixture, and blend all the ingredients together.
- Add the flour, and fold into the dough mixture, using a wooden spoon or large spatula.
- Tip the dough into the lined baking tray and with your fingertips press the dough down so there is an even coverage.
- Bake the shortcake dough in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Whilst the shortcake is baking, prepare the meringue topping.
- In a large, clean and grease-free bowl, whisk the separated egg whites until they are frothy, yet firm.
- Fold in the caster sugar, then continue to whisk the meringue, until it reaches a glossy-white, stiff consistency. Rub a little pinch of the mixture between two fingers, it should be smooth, and you shouldn’t be able to feel the grainy caster sugar. Whisk a little longer if the mixture is coarse, but be careful not to over whisk.
- Fold in the desiccated coconut.
- When the shortcake is baked, remove the base from the oven, and spread a layer of raspberry preserve over the warm shortcake.
- Drop large spoonfuls of the coconut meringue mixture over the preserve layer, and gently smooth and spread out the mixture with the back of the spoon.
- Return the baking tin to the oven, and bake for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the meringue is crisp and lightly coloured.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool before removing from the tin. When completely cool, slice the Louise cake and enjoy with a perfectly brewed Earl Grey.