Strawberry Ginger Meringue Layer Cake (Grain-free, no refined sugar added)

Gorgeous! And a super fun experiment. For years I’ve played with the idea of sugar-free meringues. And I’ve tried several recipes, but none blew me away. Too dry, too flat, too chewy... It was like eating something that wanted very much to be a cookie. But definitely wasn’t. 

IMG_8784.JPG

Well. A few months ago I discovered an awesome pavlova tutorial, and was reenergized in my experimenting with no-refined-sugar options. Turns out if you pair the delicate meringue with sweet, juicy strawberries and rich homemade ginger whipped cream, you’ve got something very special. AND, per slice, you’re only getting about 160 calories. So don’t stress the cream. Just enjoy it :).

Note: Probably obvious, but I’ll say it anyway. This doesn’t taste like a sugary, grain-based cake. It’s its own thing. Yummy and satisfying, but not the same. Which I like, and more importantly, my body likes. Just so ya know.

IMG_8807.JPG

What you’ll need:

Meringue

• 8 egg whites (no yellow at all), room temp

• 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

• 1 1/3 teaspoon liquid stevia

Cream

• 30 drops liquid stevia

• 2 cups heavy whipping cream

• 2 teaspoons ginger

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

Syrup

• 1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

• 1/3 cup sliced strawberries

Cream

• 30 drops liquid stevia

• 2 cups heavy whipping cream

• 2 teaspoons ginger

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• Parchment paper

Yields 6 servings

To start, combine meringue ingredients and whip until firm peaks form.

IMG_8707.JPG

Now get your parchment paper out, and draw guide circles on – this is so you can spread the meringue uniformly. I just grabbed a small plate (8 inch diameter) and traced that. Trace it in ink that’s dark enough to see through the parchment when you flip it over, because you don’t want to bake it on the ink. You’ll be creating three meringue discs.

Tip: Smooth the meringue enough to avoid little peaks sticking up, because they will burn. The shape you spread it into is basically the shape it will be when done baking.

IMG_8711.JPG
IMG_8719.JPG

Pop them in the oven at 250 degrees F, on a center baking rack, for 45-60 minutes. Keep an eye on it though – every oven is different, and you don’t want it toasting up beyond a light golden brown.

IMG_8723.JPG

Combine the ingredients for the cream in a chilled bowl and mix until thick and whipped. Give it a taste and alter the ginger and stevia to taste. The measurements above are a good guide, but you may want it a little more gingery or sweet. Plus it’s fun to taste-test whipped cream.

Once it’s the way you like it, spoon it into a plastic baggie and snip the corner so you can pipe it onto your meringue layers. I made ribbons of it, radiating from the center because I think it makes the finished product pretty, but of course you can do anything you like.

IMG_8736.JPG

Layer of strawberries...

IMG_8752.JPG

And just a bit more cream to fix the next meringue to.

IMG_8755.JPG

Do it all once more with the second layer, and top with your final meringue disc.

IMG_8762.JPG
IMG_8769.JPG

Lovely, lovely. Now spread the rest of your cream in a thin layer on top – no need to make it reach the edges.

IMG_8774.JPG

And arrange your strawberries. This part’s so fun :). I love the finishing touches.

IMG_8780.JPG
IMG_8787.JPG

Last step! Just combine the syrup ingredients in a processor or blender and mix until smooth. This makes a great little puree to drizzle over top of the entire cake or individual slices. Serve soon after making, and enjoy indulging while still treating your body well.

IMG_8799.JPG

I sprinkled some unsweetened shredded coconut on top too. So yum.

IMG_8834.JPG

(adapted from source)