I know the title of this recipe is ridiculously long. Finding a proper title was ridiculously challenging. To include all the flavors and layers in the title, I must have changed it 10 times.
Thumbing through my vintage German cookbook collection, I found a simple but interesting meringue torte. The torte has three separate elements to play with vanilla flavors.
The torte has a crust and a topping made out of crumbled meringues, a whipped cream layer in between and a sauce to drizzle over.
As I have mentioned before, German desserts have way less sugar then those in America, so I had to fix that.
The original recipe had no sugar at all in the middle layer of whipped cream, just bits of the crumbled meringue folded in. It also was flavored with brandy and topped with strawberry sauce. I set out to give each layer a vanilla makeover.
To the plain meringues I added vanilla sugar and instant espresso powder. Then shredded coconut and more vanilla sugar was added to the whipped cream layer.
Lastly, I ditched the fruit flavor and went with a hazelnut vanilla caramel sauce to pour over when serving.
If you already have homemade or store bought meringues on hand and can make this the day before, this recipe comes together fast and has an impressive result.
The result was light and sweet, not too filling and packed with flavor.
Coconut Vanilla Sugar Espresso Meringue Torte with Hazelnut Vanilla Caramel Sauce
For the Vanilla Espresso Meringues:
- 3 egg whites
- vanilla sugar
- 1 scant tablespoon instant espresso powder
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whip egg whites until foamy.
- Slowly add the vanilla sugar.
- Add expresso powder and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Using a tablespoon, drop meringue on baking sheets in large blobs.
- Bake for 2 hours or until meringues are throughly dry.
- Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
For the Vanilla Sugar Coconut Whipped Cream:
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 1/3 cup vanilla sugar
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- Pour cream in mixer and whip with whisk attachment.
- When cream is about halfway to becoming stiff slowly add the sugar and then the coconut.
- Whip until stiff.
For the Hazelnut Vanilla Caramel Sauce:
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts
I adapted this recipe from a caramel sauce recipe over at Simply Recipes. Basically you heat up the sugar until it boils, stir in the butter, then remove from heat and stir in the other ingredients. Elise has comprehensive instructions on how to make basic caramel sauce. Click HERE for those. My additions are the vanilla extract, paste and hazelnuts and I stirred them in after the cream.
Assemble the torte:
- Line the bottom and the sides of a 10 inch spring form pan with parchment paper.
- Hack up the meringues into chunks and layer the bottom of the pan with the pieces closely together.
- Pour in the coconut vanilla sugar whipped cream and spread it evenly.
- Cover the top of the cream with another layer of the chopped meringues.
- Refrigerate overnight or for 10-12 hours.
- Remove from fridge, de-pan, remove parchment from the sides, slice and plate each piece.
- Drizzle hazelnut vanilla caramel sauce over the top.