The sweetest Christmas: Annie Bell’s chocolate hazelnut meringue cake recipe

This deep moussey meringue cake with its crisp top is endlessly adaptable: you can use almost any combination of dried fruits and nuts you fancy.

chocolate hazelnut meringue cake
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 6

FOR THE CAKE
vegetable oil, for greasing
4 large egg whites
225g golden or white caster sugar
100g roasted chopped hazelnuts
75g dried cranberries
150g dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped, plus 1 tbsp shaved to decorate

FOR THE TOPPING
150g crème fraîche
150g 0% fat greek yogurt

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and grease a 20cm springform cake tin that is at least 7cm deep.
  2. For the cake, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they rise into a foam using an electric whisk. Gradually whisk in the sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time, whisking well with each addition until you have a stiff, glossy meringue.
  3. Fold in the hazelnuts, cranberries and chocolate. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 35 minutes or until risen and crusty. Carefully run a knife around the collar and leave the cake to cool. Ideally this should be eaten on the day it is made.
  4. Blend the crème fraîche and yogurt together in a medium bowl (you can do this in advance, cover and chill it).
  5. Just before serving, spread the cream in the middle of the meringue, pile the chocolate shavings in the centre.

Food styling: Sarah Hardy. Prop styling: Max Robinson