Apricot and hazelnut meringue
- 175g hazelnuts
- 5 large egg whites
- 275g caster sugar
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
- Few drops vanilla extract
- 200g ready-to-eat dried apricots
- 200ml double cream, whipped
- 50g dark chocolate, melted
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease two 20cm cake tins and line the bases. Cook the nuts in the oven for 10 minutes, then rub off the skins in a tea towel.
Grind 150g nuts in a blender and chop the remainder.
Whisk the egg whites. Add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking until stiff again after each addition. Whisk in the vinegar and vanilla with the last 1 tbsp sugar.
Fold in the ground nuts, then divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 40 minutes. Turn out, peel off the paper and cool.
Put the apricots in a pan with enough water to cover. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Leave to cool.
Blend the apricots with just enough cooking water to make a thick purée. Spread one cake with the cream and apricot and sandwich the other cake on top. Drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped nuts.