Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Frozen Vacherin Torte with Rhubarb Cream and Strawberries



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I've been given the nod to share this lovely dessert with you. That does not always happen. A recipe must pass two tests before I post it here. It must, of course, make a dish that's tasty, but, over and above that, it must be doable. Left to my own devices, I've been known to come up recipes that are too different or difficult for others to try. I have folks who help prevent that from happening. This vacherin passed the taste and doability tests with flying colors. A vacherin, by the way, is a torte made with layers of meringue and flavored frozen cream. This is one of my favorite spring dessert and this version is made with a luscious rhubarb cream that nicely balances the sweetness of the meringue layers it separates. While not simple to make, the vacherin is doable. If you have an electric mixer and a pastry bag, you have everything you need to successfully make this wonderful dessert. Time here may be a problem. The meringue layers must be made a day before the torte is assembled, and, once that is done, the vacherin must be frozen for at least eight hours before it is cut. Don't despair. The good news is that once it's made, it can be kept, frozen, for four or five days. That makes it a wonderful make-ahead dessert for company. The sides of the torte are not usually iced, but I always cover mine with a thin layer of whipped cream to cover up mistakes I always seem to make. This recipe was originally developed for Bon Appetit magazine. It's a sound recipe, but there are a few pitfalls you should be aware of. You'll have to be careful when you fold the rhubarb puree into the egg yolks. If you follow instructions, you'll end up with a runny cream that spills over the torte layers. Don't use all of the puree. Add only enough to make a cream that has the consistency of a frosting or whipped cream. If it runs, let the layers set in the freezer and then cover them with whipped cream. Once cut, the vacherin melts quickly, so plan to get it to the table as soon as it comes from the freezer. By the way, if you are uncomfortable using a pastry bag, simply spread the meringue within the paper circles and you'll be fine. I really hope you'll try this. It would be perfect for Mother's Day. Here's the recipe.

Frozen Vacherin Torte with Rhubarb Cream and Strawberries...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from Bon Appetit magazine

Ingredients:
Meringues
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
6 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Rhubarb cream
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh rhubarb (from about 1 pound)
3/4 cup halved hulled strawberries
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup sugar, divided use
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 large egg yolks
1 cup chilled whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sweetened strawberries (optional)
Whipped cream for icing (optional)

Directions:
1) To make meringues: Position racks in top third and center of oven and preheat to 250 degrees F. Using 8-inch-diameter bowl or plate as guide, firmly trace 2 circles onto 1 sheet of parchment paper and 1 circle onto second sheet of parchment. Place papers, marked side down, on 2 baking sheets. Spray paper with nonstick spray. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl until frothy. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat until whites are stiff and glossy. Beat in vanilla. Working in batches, spoon meringue into large pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tip. Starting in center of each traced circle and holding tip just above paper, pipe meringue in spirals to fill circles, forming 3 rounds. Alternatively, spoon and level meringue inside circles. Bake meringues until firm, dry, and pale golden, about 2 hours. Turn off oven; leave meringues in oven with door closed at least 4 hours or overnight.
2) To make rhubarb cream: Combine rhubarb, strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar, water, and lemon juice in saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is very tender, about 15 minutes. Puree mixture in processor. Chill until cold, about 1 hour. Whisk yolks and 1/3 cup sugar in large metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water). Whisk until mixture thickens and instant-read thermometer registers 140°F for 3 minutes, about 7 minutes total. Chill mixture until cool, about 15 minutes. Working a 1/2 cup at a time, fold rhubarb mixture into yolk mixture, until mixture resembles a frosting or heavy whipped cream. You will have extra rhubarb cream. Using electric mixer, beat whipping cream and vanilla in another large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold cream into rhubarb mixture in 2 additions.
3) Place 1 meringue disk in 9-inch diameter springform pan. Spread 1/3 of rhubarb cream (about 1 1/2 cups) over meringue, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Top with second meringue disk, then 1/3 of rhubarb cream. Top with remaining meringue disk and rhubarb cream (cream will not spread to sides of pan). Freeze until cream is firm, about 8 to 24 hours. Release cake pan sides. Optionally, cover sides of pan with a light coat of whipped cream. Serve torte with sweetened strawberries, if desired. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.







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92 comments:

bellini said...

It does sound wonderful Mary with its meringue layers and strawberries.

Lynda said...

I love rhubarb, so I imagine I'd enjoy this pretty dessert. The addition of strawberries makes this sound extra delicious!

Sandra said...

This just look beautiful and just right! Thanks you for the tips, I love the way this cake look and sound!!!
Have a beautiful night!

Elisabeth said...

Your amazing line of pink desserts would be perfect for Valentines, birthdays, and especially now, for Mother's Day.
This gorgeous frozen cake is a real
"masterpiece" that would be a welcome for all of us "mom"...the amazing strawberry shortcake, the strawberry panna cotta...I'm drooling, and seeing everything in "pink" now, or maybe through "rose colored glasses...LOL
Eveything is superb:DDD

Hovkonditorn said...

Strawberries and rhubarb, a delicious combo!

Betty @ scrambled henfruit said...

This is such a beautiful dessert! With the rhubarb and strawberries, it's absolutely perfect for spring. :)

Ginny said...

Yes, it would be perfect for Mother's Day. I'll send the recipe to my son straight away, ha ha ha! It's beautiful and i have never heard of that name!!

Mickey said...

Beautiful as usual! I love all the pretty layers - it looks like it must be delicious.
mickey

Cloudia said...

perfect Spring delight!





Warm Aloha from Waikiki


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Chelsea said...

Wow, this looks beautiful. Seriously. And sounds like it tastes amazing, too!

FLORY said...

Just wonderful!

yummychunklet said...

The colors of your cream look fabulous. I like how the light is hitting it in the photo!

Kris said...

That is a beautiful cake!!

Elin said...

Mary....coming over for dessert...it looks so good :) salivating over the keyboard and the tummy is rumbling loud :) Have KIV this and I told Lena of Frozen wings that all your cakes are marvelous and my to -do list is getting longer now :)
Have a nice day,
Elin

Fabi said...

May I say WOW!!!!! It looks really scrumptious. It's so beautiful, congratulations, an amazing job. Cheers from Fabi in Madrid-Spain.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Wow this is bookmarked for Nigel's next visit. Yummy. DFiane

Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane said...

Absolutely stunning photo - beautiful cake too, well done! :)

Red Nomad OZ said...

That looks SO amazing ... I'm not a mother, so sadly I'm not going to get lucky enough to wake up to this on Sunday morning!

I hope you don't have to cook stuff for yourself on mother's day, Mary!!!

Ana Rita said...

It's so beautifull.It's almost a princess cake with that pink and white.My girls would love it!!

Kisses,
Rita

Vivienne said...

oh wow how clever that theres layers of meringues in the cake!! must make it lighter to eat! perfect!! the cake looks so gorgeous and elegant too!! great effort!

Priya said...

Thats sooo beautiful and wonderful torte,yumm!

Treat and Trick said...

What a gorgeous bake! Looks perfect and delicious...

Bits of Taste said...

wow! This is beautiful Mary!

Blog is the New Black said...

Gorgeous, Mary!

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

If this isn't the perfect spring dessert, then I don't know what is! Gorgeous!

Alessandra said...

Perfect for Mother's Day for sure, although I would have to make it myself :-) hahaha!

Bellissima!

ciao
Alessandra

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

Wow, Mary, this looks so professional and I am sure tastes sublime. Fantastic! I must earmark this one. Pity tho that we somehow don't get rhubarb here in Turkey.
Claudia

Three-Cookies said...

This is awesome, looks quite sophisticated and complicated but its not.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Oh my! Wouldn't that be lovely for Mother's Day, it's just beautiful:@)

tandysinclair.com said...

We have just enjoyed the most amazing strawberries in France :) This looks like a great dessert. Have a super day Mary :)

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Mary, that is a beautiful and inviting dessert. Absolutely lovely and looks delicious too! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

This is a BEAUTIFUL dessert! It looks like clouds!
Yvonne

Kim said...

It'S not usual to see vacherin on blogs. I don't know why, it is so good. I reaaly like your variation with strawberries and rhubarb! I really enjoy these flavors. It's perfect summertime dessert!

Elaine said...

I've never heard of a Vacherin - it looks and sounds divine!

Lenia said...

What a perfect spring dessert!Ideal for mother's day!

Jenn said...

Now that is a thing of beauty!! It's too bad it melts so quickly once cut...I would want to admire it while I savored it :)

Faith said...

This is such a special dessert, Mary. Every aspect of it is just lovely and I think it would be wonderful for Mother's Day!

Barbara Bakes said...

Such an impressive dessert! Great flavor combination.

Claudia said...

This sings of spring and warm weather and sunshine. I like how it is indeed doable - with thought.

Parsley Sage said...

There's that super intriguing rhubarb again! Looks lovely and super tasty. Very happy it passed the two tests and made it to your blog :)

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

This is beautiful, and look great too.

sally said...

The rhubarb cream sounds amazing! This is a beautiful dessert.

Imbini Pasticcini said...

grazie mille x la visita e ricambio molto volentieri!!=) il tuo blog è magnifico!!=)
complimenti di cuore a presto buon pomeriggio baci vale

A Year on the Grill said...

Oh, my gods... that sounds just AMAZING. I appreciated the confidence in my abilities... Sounds like a great hot weather dessert

briarrose said...

It screams Spring with that pink and white coloring. Beautiful torte and so light.

Lucy said...

Simply beautiful! Maybe I will give meringue another try!

Kelly said...

This is lovely and so seasonally appropriate. I have to admit that although I do a lot of baking the word 'torte' for me has always given me that feeling of anxiety and intimidation. Now I'm feeling that is ubsurd and I should just attempt one.

Jeannie said...

I love the pretty pink and white of this cake, although the steps and time needed are quite daunting I bet it's worth every single effort to put this cake together:)

Food Glorious Food! said...

I wish we can get rhubarb here... The cake looks absolutely pretty!

Margarida said...

Mary, that wonderful cake, especially now that it is the season for strawberries is a real temptation!

Nor dare to try it because I would not be like yours which was a shame!

Kisses

''Cucina di Barbara'' said...

I love this kind of desserts...:))
Love your pictures also!
Barbaraxx

paula MARIANA said...

Irressistible Mary!!

Kisses!!

Marguerite said...

You really outdid yourself on this one, Mary! Beautiful torte and heavenly, I'm sure! Thanks for another great strawberry recipe.

Rita said...

Another new one! This would be my kind of dessert. What a combination; I would love to try my hand at this one.
Rita

Joanne said...

I actually don't think I've ever heard of a vacherin before! Shame on me! It looks absolutely delicious and decadent though! A show-stopping dessert.

Lora said...

What a creative and gorgeous use of rhubarb!

Swathi said...

Awesome delicious. Love anything with strawberry.

pigpigscorner said...

Wow, a lot of patience is needed to make this torte! I'm sure it's worth it, looks so good!

Gloria said...

what lovely tart look delicious and beauty!!! gloria

Angie's Recipes said...

This is perfect for mother's day! Love the rhubarb cream.

Haddock said...

really amazing, and I like the photogrphs....

Stepmom said...

that torte looks amazing!!! making me sooo hungry.

SuzyEats said...

wow how great does this look. i would love to try this.

Wendy Irene said...

Great idea! I love using whipped cream for icing. It is so simple and light.

Cuisine de Provence said...

Mary this looks lovely and I bet it tastes even better!
I do a dessert with meringues, rasperries and whipped cream that is delicious but not as beautiful as your vacherin.

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

This looks beautiful and delicious. My husband like to make complicated dessert with lots of steps. I will pass this one on to him . . . looking forward to enjoying the fruits of his labors. (via your labors.)

Fondly,
Glenda

MissCakeBaker said...

Beautiful cake!

That Girl said...

They do say the best things come to those who wait...

Jennifurla said...

This is so gorgeous on so many "levels" yum

Ola said...

Oh, I absolutely adore rhubarb, it remind me my childhood - my Mom used to bake pie with rhubarb from our garden on sunday. Thank you very much, Mary, for your visit on my blog. I hope you'll visit me again, becase I will visit your blog regulary - i just love your recipies! Greetings from Poland!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

Oh Mary, you should be SO proud of yourself, what I really wonderful dessert!
Have a great day,
Mary

Chiara said...

It's perfect for Mother's day Mary!!!Lovely,pink and pretty! have a good day....

PeggyR said...

Oh gosh that looks so good.

teresa said...

oh wow, fluffy, bright, delicious! what a fantastic dessert!

martu said...

oh, I love strawerries. This looks delicious! My mum also would have loved it for Mother´s Day. Maybe next year I can prepair it for her. I hope you have a very nice night. Blessings. Marta

Tu mejor receta said...

Que hermosa página que tienes, es una delicia todo! Felicitaciones querida amiga y gracias por visitarme!

A Paixão da Isa said...

hum mas que bom pois é uma maravilha gostei muito beijinhos

BigAppleNosh said...

This looks absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

PS Thanks for stopping by my blog!

muppy said...

i am in love with this cake, it looks amazing.

Mandy said...

Wow, fantastic!
Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the visit. :)
I'll be back!! :D

Al Dente Gourmet said...

This is simply Superb, Mary! It looks absolutely delicious! And the flavors sound great. Beautiful job!

Have a great day,

Aldy.

The Harried Cook said...

Mary, do you have an extra room in your house? I would like to move in with your family so we can eat your cooking! :)

This torte looks amazing and I SO badly want a chunk of it right now! Thanks for another drool worthy recipe!

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

I've seen "rhubarb" in other people's recipes and I was curious enough now to check on Google what it is just after I saw your beautiful torte. It's a vegetable! I didn't know that... LOL. WOW now I'm more interested in this dessert. Looks so beautiful!

JasmyneTea said...

Holy cow - I'm giving this recipe to Stephen, and if he can make it to my satisfaction, I'm marrying him. What an awesome concept! The tart rhubarb with the sweet meringue... Wow.

lena said...

wow, another amazing looking cake! and the tips you gave helps a lot!

Stevie said...

This vacherin torte sounds quite good but I am unpersuaded by your comments on its doability. It sounds like it might be a bit complex. I'm not sure.

I have had a cake in Brazil that was remarkable and reminds me a bit of this. It was frosted in meringue that was broiled to give it lovely carmelized peaks. Have you ever seen a recipe like that? I'd love to try making it on my own.

Sue said...

Oh my, this looks SO beautiful and yummy too! Love it!

Lisa said...

I love a good frozen dessert and this one looks so pretty too.

Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} said...

Mary - I really appreciate you taking time to stop by my little ol' blog! I am totally stunned by this recipe! It looks so inviting- I would have to get it out of the house soon after making it or else I would eat WAY too much of it!! ♥- Katrina

Julia @Mélanger said...

Oh my gosh, how amazing is this? Thank you for sharing. Delicious!!!!!

A little bit of everything said...

the cake looks stunning. love the flavors.
thanks for the tips Mary and for sharing this wonderful recipe!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

This one has my name written all over it and I know some people who will rave over this divine combination! Miam-miam! Merci

Bises,
Genie

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