Mother's Day

Etton Mess Cake

February 22, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Laura Biscaro
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • serves about 10-12 people
Author Notes

This cake is the very representation of everything that I love in a dessert: it's sweet, tangy and comforting. It's like a hug in each bite.
There're soft layers of sponge cake, airy whipped cream with chopped strawberries and crushed meringue cookies that just gives an extra touch of happiness. You'll make this recipe over and over again, believe me. —Laura Biscaro

What You'll Need
  • For the genoise:
  • 310 grams eggs (about 6 medium eggs)
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 40 grams honey
  • 60 grams whole milk
  • 190 grams AP flour
  • 60 grams butter, unsalted (if using salted, skip the salt in the recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the filling and meringue:
  • 400 grams heavy cream
  • 40 grams granulated sugar (you can add more if you feel like it needs, but I enjoy it on the less sweet side)
  • 150 grams chopped fresh strawberries, save some for decoration
  • crushed meringue cookies
  • 150 grams egg whites (about 4 large egg whites)
  • 300 grams granulated sugar
  1. To make the genoise, first preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F, then grease and line two 16cm/6in round cake pans and set them aside.
  2. Pour some water in a pan and heat it on the stove to make a bain-marie. Next, add the eggs, sugar and honey to a heat proof bowl and mix well. Put the bowl on top of the pan on the stove and warm this mixture, stirring the whole time with a whisk or spatula, until it reaches 40°C/104°F. Once you reach the temperature, remove the bowl from the heat and pour it on the bowl of a standing mixer (you can also use a hand mixer for this) with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla and beat it on high for a few minutes, or until it doubles in size and you can see the ribbon stage.
  3. Add the butter to the milk and heat it for a few seconds on the microwave, until the butter melts and the mixture is warm. Set that aside. Sieve the flour and salt on top of the egg mixture and fold everything until homegenous. Take about a serving spoon of the batter and add it to the bowl with the milk and butter, mix well, then add it back to the batter and fold it in until it's all incorporated.
  4. Divide the batter in between both pans and bake it for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool completely. The baking time may varie depending on your oven, so just look for the signs, if it's golden on top and the toothpick test is all good, then it's done, don't worry about it :)
  5. For the filling, add the heavy cream and the 40g of sugar to the bowl of your standing mixer and whip it until it holds stiff picks. Careful not to overmix! Kepp it in the fridge until needed.
  6. For the swiss meringue that will cover the cake (you can also use this recipe to make the meringue cookies), Add the egg whites and the sugar to a heat proof bowl and place it over a bain marie. Keep stirring until the mixture is warm, the sugar is melted and it's at about 65°C/149°F. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of your mixer, with the whisk attachement and beat everything until your meringue is light, glossy and it holds stiff peaks.
  7. To assemble, first cut your cakes in half, so you have four layers. On top of your cake stand, add one layer of cake and soak it with a little bit of milk, you don't need much for this, just enough to cover the whole slice. Then add your whipped cream and a few chopped strawberries, followed by the next layer of cake, soaked in a bit of milk, then more whipped cream but this time, add some crushed meringue cookies. Keep going until you run out of layers. I suggest putting a piece of acetate around the cake and leaving it the fridge for at least two hours to make it a bit more stable and easier to decorate.
  8. Cover everything with the swiss meringue, making whatever design you feel like, and blow toarch it if you can. If you don't have a blow toarch, don't worry, it'll be just as delicious! Add some strawberries on top and serve!

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