Coffee vacherin

Coffee vacherin

Vanessa Levis

Vacherin is a luscious meringue dessert usually made into a case or basket to hold a filling of fruit, cream or ice cream. Sometimes the base is a disc of sweet pastry or almond paste with the meringue piped on in rings, one on top of the other, around the edge. The filling is then piled into the centre. Vacherins can also be assembled with discs of meringue layered with filling, as here, which is the easiest type to make.

Meringue case


Quantity Ingredient
4 egg whites
220g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup ground hazelnuts

Coffee sauce

Quantity Ingredient
110g caster sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon rum


Quantity Ingredient
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
3/4 cup cream


Quantity Ingredient
sifted icing sugar
1/2 cup whipped cream
whole toasted hazelnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C. Mark two 20 cm circles on two sheets of baking paper and place each on a baking tray. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar and beat for 30 seconds longer. Sift the remaining sugar with the cinnamon and fold into the egg whites with the ground hazelnuts. Spread or pipe the meringue over the two baking paper circles.
  3. Bake for 1–1 1/4 hours or until pale golden. Turn off the oven and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven.
  4. To make the coffee sauce, dissolve the sugar in 1/2 cup of the water over low heat. Increase the heat and boil without stirring until the syrup is a rich golden brown. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the remaining cold water. Return to low heat and stir until the caramel dissolves. Pour into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool. As the syrup cools and begins to thicken, stir in the instant coffee, dissolved in the boiling water, and the rum. When cold, the sauce should be thick and syrupy.
  5. To make the filling, mix the coffee and brown sugar with the hot water and allow to cool. Whip the cream and, as it begins to thicken, add the coffee and brown sugar mixture. Continue beating until the cream holds soft peaks.
  6. Sandwich the two meringue rounds together with the filling. Dust the top of the gateau with sifted icing sugar and pipe rosettes of cream around the edge. Decorate the rosettes with whole hazelnuts. Serve with the coffee sauce.
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