By Heleen Meyer
1. Cake: Preheat oven to 180 °C. Line and lightly grease the base of a 20 cm loose-bottom cake tin.
2. Place egg yolks with all the ingredients, except the apples, in a large mixing bowl.
3. Beat well with an electric beater until a soft, but firm batter forms. Be careful not to overmix. Crumble or ‘dollop’ half the batter with a spoon or your fingertips into the tin and gently flatten. It may look too chunky or too little, but it will spread into a delicious cake layer as it bakes.
4. Pack apple slices in a single layer, slightly overlapping, on the batter. Crumble or place spoonfuls of the remaining batter in a similar way over the apples and spread evenly.
5. Meringue: Place egg whites in a clean glass bowl and beat with an electric beater until foamy. Add brown sugar and lemon juice or vinegar and beat until stiff peaks form.
6. Gently fold two-thirds of the coconut, with a large metal spoon, into the egg whites – take care not to ‘flatten’ the meringue. Keep as much of the air bubbles in the mixture as possible.
7. Spoon dollops of meringue onto the batter and fluff with a fork or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle remaining coconut over and gently pack sets of 3-4 apple slices into the meringue.
8. Bake for 40 minutes, reduce the heat to 160 °C and bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown and the cake is baked. Use a cake tester to make sure that all the layers are baked through. If the meringue becomes too dark, loosely cover it with a piece of baking paper.
9. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes and then carefully remove it from the tin, by lifting or loosening the base from the ring. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
1. Substitute coconut shavings with 80 ml desiccated coconut. Or use a mixture of both for an interesting texture.
2. If you don’t have a loose bottom cake tin: cut two large pieces of baking paper and fold to form two long strips. Place strips in the bottom of the tin and then line with a circle of baking paper. Once baked, carefully loosen and lift the cake, by means of the two paper strips. Don’t make the part that you hold onto too long, as it may burn in the oven.
3. Use smooth, low-fat cottage cheese instead of ricotta.
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