Ingredients for the pastry cream:
400 ml.(13.5 fl. oz) + 200 ml. (7 fl. oz) heavy cream
100 grams (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
6 large yolks
60 grams (2 oz) cornstarch
40 grams (1.5 oz) or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Ingredients for the meringue:
6 medium egg whites (180 grams/6 oz)
350 grams (12 oz) sugar
A pinch of cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Ingredients for the strawberry sauce:
200 grams (7 oz) strawberries
75 grams (2.5 oz) sugar
a pinch of salt
Extra strawberries for decoration
To make the pastry cream, place the cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.
Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk to combine.
Once the cream has come to a simmer remove from the stove and start pouring it slowly to the egg yolk mixture as you whisk continuously to temper the yolks. Add a little bit of the cream then add the cornstarch and whisk to dissolve, then add the rest of the cream. Once it’s all combined transfer the whole mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture has thickened. ***Make sure to whisk the mixture all the time to avoid curdling the eggs.
Remove from heat, whisk for another minute to cool slightly, then add the butter and whisk until combined.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Let it cool off a bit then place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours or overnight. Once it has cooled, whip up the rest of the cream to stiff peaks and gently fold into the pastry cream. Cover in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until needed.
While pastry cream is chilling in the fridge prepare the meringue.
Preheat your oven to 100-110C (230F), fan-forced.
Place egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer or in a regular bowl if using hand-held mixer.
Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar while mixer is running until it’s all incorporated. Add cream of tartar and vanilla extract. Beat until meringue is smooth, thick and glossy. ***Sugar should be completely dissolved. This may take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Add cornstarch and beat for another minute, not more, just to combine.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Use a round plate/ring and draw three circles on the paper, using a pencil (16cm/6 inch each).
Distribute meringue among the circles and even the tops out as much as possible.**No need to be very precise here.
Bake 75 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door of the oven. Leave meringue to cool to room temperature in the oven.
In the meantime prepare the strawberry sauce:
In a small saucepan add strawberries and puree finely or chop up into very small pieces. Add sugar and a pinch of salt and heat over medium high heat. Strawberries will release their juices from the heat and sugar will dissolve. Cook stiring almost constantly until sauce is thickened and most of the juices evaporate. Keep in mind that sauce will thicken additionally when chilled.
Let is cool to room temperature.
To assemble the cake:
Place one meringue layer on a platter, spread one layer of the pastry cream and sprinkle some of the strawberry sauce on top. Repeat steps with all three layers.
Top with fresh strawberries.