Last week we were treated to a delicious Oven bake, bacon wrapped cod dish and this week for Silvia Todesco’s final post in this short series… we will be enjoying dessert.
MERINGATA: the taste of an ice-cream cake, with no ice-cream at all!
Meringata (literally “meringued” – with meringue on it or in it) refers to any type or cake or dessert with a meringue topping or meringue mixed into it.
In Veneto (the Italian Region which I come from), Meringata is a very picturesque cake
similar to Pavlova,
the Austialian/New Zeland meringue cake consisting of wheels of meringue layered with whipped cream.
Except for the custard layer, the Meringata does not need to be cooked or baked, but rather just needs to be assembled together, to obtain an absolutely tempting dessert, delicate, velvety, and fresh!
Your guests will be amazed by the beauty and the deliciousness of this cake,
and you’ll be amazed to know how easy it is to make!
Ingredients for a 12″ round Meringata
- 1 container Lady Finger cookies (un pacco di Savoiardi)
- 1 can peaches in heavy syrup (un barattolo di pesche sciroppate)
- a quart heavy whipping cream (un litro di panna da montare)
- about 12 oz. meringues (circa 250 grammi spumiglie)
- about 4.4 oz. dark chocolate finely chopped (circa 125 gr. cioccolato fondente tagliato finemente)
- about 30 Amaretti cookies (3.5 oz.) (circa 30 amaretti, 100 gr.)
Ingredients for the custard (Crema Pasticcera)
- 6 yolks (6 tuorli)
- 2 oz. or 1/4 cup all porpose flour (45 gr. farina)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (1 cucchiaino di aroma alla vaniglia)
- 2/3 cup sugar (140 gr. zucchero)
- 16 oz. or 2 cups whole milk (500 ml. di latte intero)
- 1 lemon zest (la scorza di un limone)
DIRECTIONS for making the custard
A few hours before making the cake, or even the day before, prepare the custard according to this recipe. (To build your Meringata, the custard MUST be cool.)
DIRECTIONS For the meringues
You can easily buy meringues at the groceries store, but if you prefer to make them from scratch, follow this recipe, and these quantities:
- 200 gr. cold egg whites (usually 6 or 7 cold egg whites)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp lemon extract
To build your Meringata
Separate the peaches from their syrup and save the syrup for later (you have to soak the Lady Fingers in it). Crumble the Amaretti and arrange them on a round platter to form the first layer of the cake, and sprinkle with the chopped dark chocolate.
The next layer will be made by crumbling the meringues. Crumble them into coarse pieces- big enough to be felt when you eat the cake.
Whip the whipping cream and cover the meringues. Spreading whipped cream on chunks of meringues can be a little challenging, so I usually arrange small dollops of whipped cream close together, and then spread it evenly, so as to cover the layer underneath.
Next, soak the Lady Fingers in the peach syrup and layer them onto the cake. (If you haven’t enough syrup from the peaches, you can dilute it with water and sugar. For each Tbs. of water you add, you need to add a tsp. of sugar.)
Spread the custard evenly on the lady fingers.
Cut the peaches into pieces and arrange them on the custard, in a way to cover every free spot.
Make another layer of whipped cream, and this time make sure to cover not only the top of the cake, but also the sides.
Finish your awesome cake buy covering it with the crumbled meringues left.
Put your Meringata in the freezer at least 5 or 6 hours. Let it thaw a little before serving: it will be like eating an ice-cream, with no ice-cream at all!
LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!
– It really make sense deciding to make also the meringues from scratch since to make the custard you will have 6 eggs white left. If you agree with me, I suggest you to make the custard and the meringues the day before making the cake. Only be sure to cover the custard properly with a plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated until it’s time to use it.
– This cake could be filled with any kind of fruit you prefer (even a fruit cocktail). The important part is that you use a syrup to soak the Lady Finger with the same taste of the fruit you picked (or otherwise use just water and sugar as syrup). I usually make Meringata with peaches or strawberry because they give to the cake a very light and delicate taste, but I would say that using a mix of berries would be a delicious alternative!
– Keep your “Meringata” in the freezer until a couple hours before serving it, and then move it to the refrigerator until the moment you are ready to cut and serve it.
– For sure this cake is ideal for the summer time, since is very refreshing, but honestly, I made it in February, with 8 F. outside, and everybody loved it anyway!
I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do, share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to my blog if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free,
My thanks to Silvia for for this wonderful Italian Menu that she has created for us and if you hit the link button in the first line of the post it will take to you the individual recipes step by step.
About Silvia Todesco
I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.
I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!
But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.
Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!
So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.
Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!
Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).
Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.
In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!
Connect to Silvia
Silvia would love to receive your comments and it would be great if you could share the post.. thanks Sally.