For the Bone Meringue
- 6 egg whites, (200g) at room temperature
- 2 cream of tartar
- 400 g caster sugar
For the Sponge Cake
- 380 g egg whites, (about 12 medium eggs) at room temperature
- 2 pinch cream of tartar
- 320 g caster sugar
- 100 g plain flour, sieved
- 55 g cocoa powder, sieved
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- red food colouring
To make the heart
- 150 g dark red fondant icing
- 2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
For the butter icing
- 300 g unsalted butter, soft
- 600 g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
For the red icing
- 500 g fondant icing sugar
- red food colouring paste
To make the meringue bones
- Preheat the oven to 120C, Gas ½.
- Place the egg whites and cream of tartar into a mixing bowl, and whisk on a medium speed until thick and foamy, about 2 minutes
- Add half the sugar and continue to whisk for about 10 minutes until very thick. When thick and glossy, add the rest of the sugar whisk very briefly, just to incorporate.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet and cut a piece of baking parchment to fit perfectly. Spoon the meringue into a large piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain piping nozzle.
- Carefully pipe a line of meringue starting with a large ball and then into a thick line, slightly on the curve, then another ball to one side about 8cm long, or slightly higher than the cake. Finally, pipe another ball to the other side of the blobs on each end, so it looks like a cartoon bone. Repeat this until all the meringue has been used up.
- Place in the oven and cook for about 2 hours or until crisp and dry. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before attempting to remove from the parchment.
To make the sponge cake
- Preheat the oven to 150C, gas 2.
- Place the egg whites into the bowl of a food mixer and add the cream of tartar. Whisk at 3/4 speed until foamy. Add half the sugar and whisk again until shiny, soft and really glossy.
- Add the rest of the sugar just to bring it together. Don't overmix. Lift the bowl off the machine and add the vanilla and the food colouring, carefully mix in.
- Add the sieved flour and cocoa powder, gently folding through, making sure it is all incorporated well - be really careful not to knock out too much air or the sponge will be heavy.
- Three-quarters fill a cupcake case with the mixture and place it in a cupcake tray.
- Divide the remaining mixture into two 20cm deep cake tins (do not line or grease the tins).
- Bake the cupcake for about 20 minutes, and the larger cakes for 40 minutes, or until well risen and just springy to the touch in the centre of the cake. A sign that a meringue-based cake is ready is the sponge will come away slightly from the sides of the tin when cooked. Cool completely before removing from the tins.
To make the heart
- Roll out about two-thirds of the red icing into a rectangle. Place the cupcake in the centre, wrap the icing around to enclose, leave the icing at the top slightly open. Using your finger, shape a hollow tube in the edge of the icing and flatten down the remainder.
- Roll out the rest of the icing into two sausage shapes and position on the heart. Use the end of a teaspoon to make a hollow in the top end of each tube.
To make the butter icing
- Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and gradually beat in the icing with the vanilla bean paste until light and fluffy.
- Sandwich the cooled cakes together with about a quarter of the butter icing. Put a small amount of the icing onto a 20cm cake card and position the cakes in the centre. Apply a light, smooth coat of the butter icing to the outside of the cake to crumb coat, then chill until firm.
- When ready to serve, apply a thicker coat of butter icing to the outside of the cake. Next, stick the meringue bones to the edge of the cake using a little more butter icing if necessary.
- Put the fondant icing sugar into a large bowl and gradually add enough water to make a thick dripping consistency. Then add enough red food paste to make a deep red colour. Put half the red icing into a large piping bag and snip off the end.
- Pour the remaining icing across the top of the cake, and use the icing bag to make drips of icing down the outsides, between the bones.
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