This dreamy cake comes to me from across the ditch; that’s New Zealand for any non Australian readers, via my Auntie Alex in Melbourne. She has been making Strawberry Cloud Cake for years. It’s an Annabel Langbein recipe from her cookbook, The Free Range Cook, and one of my Auntie’s favourite desserts. Deservedly so.
Thanks for sharing Alex! I made it for the very first time yesterday and was astounded. It worked! The very first time. The hallmark of a great recipe. You warned me that the recipe was a bit different and to just bear with it and keep beating the filling until it eventually comes together. I took your word for it and that is exactly what I did. Although I must admit my first reaction was “Who tips egg whites hulled strawberries and sugar into a bowl together and just beats?”
The result? A fluffy, airy cloud bursting with fruit. Looks like a cheesecake but there is no dairy. Freezes like an ice cream, but it has a soft mousse like texture. It’s a wonderful dessert that is deceptively simple to make, fifteen minutes preparation time in three simple steps:
- Prepare the base. A crumb base of crushed biscuits ( I used Scotch Finger), a bit of coconut, cinnamon and butter.
- Prepare the filling. After about eight minutes the filling truly does come together!
- Assemble and freeze for a minimum of four hours (overnight is best). Add raspberries just before serving. This photo is looking a bit melty but only because I misplaced my camera. And there was no way my children were going to wait for me to put it back in the freezer to firm up. This cake looked way too inviting.
The cake will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month. With strawberries in season I think I might make a few batches of this cake and keep them in the freezer for a quick mid week dessert fix.
Strawberry Cloud Cake with Raspberries
Prep time: 15 mins
Freezer time: 4 hours
150g plain sweet biscuits
½ cup desiccated coconut
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
100g butter, melted
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
250g (1 punnet) ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 punnet raspberries
To Make the Crumb Base
LINE the base of a 26-28 cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper. This makes it easy to lift the cake out later.
PUT biscuits in a brown paper bag and crush them into crumbs by beating carefully with a rolling-pin.
POUR the crumbs into a medium bowl and add the coconut, cinnamon and melted butter. Stir well to combine.
PRESS firmly into the base of the prepared tin. It doesn’t need to be a thick layer – just enough to cover the bottom of the tin.
REFRIGERATE the base while you prepare the filling.
To Make the Filling
PLACE egg whites, sugar, sliced strawberries, lemon juice and vanilla in the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer.
BEAT on high for about 6-8 minutes until the mixture is very thick and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved. To test whether it is ready, rub a bit of the mixture between your fingers. You should not feel any gritty sugar. If you do, beat a little longer.
SPOON the filling over the chilled base, smooth the top, cover with a sheet of baking paper and freeze for at least 4 hours.
REMOVE cake from tin.
GARNISH with fresh raspberries on top.
CUT cake into wedges using a knife that has been warmed in hot water.