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Meringue Cakes: Chrysanthemum Cake

Clusters of spiky "petals" of soft meringue top the layers of this cake. The same meringue, spread smooth, covers the sides. Meringue not only looks lovely, it tastes delicious, especially when flavored with a few drops of your favorite extract or flower water. Vanilla, orange-blossom water, rosewater, or a liqueur are all good choices. But have your cake designer choose a pale or clear extract so it won't mar the pure color of the white meringue. Make the meringue in single batches as you need it.

  • Servings: 200
Meringue Cakes: Chrysanthemum Cake

Photography: Grant Peterson

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2000

Ingredients

  • One 30-by-40-inch piece of 3/16-inch-thick foam board
  • One each 18-, 12-, and 6-inch round cake tier
  • One 28-inch-diameter wooden base or serving platter
  • 4 recipes Italian Meringue
  • One 28-inch-diameter wooden base or serving platter
  • 2 sets 7-inch-high clear plastic tapered columns

Directions

  1. Cut foam board into rounds, one each of the following diameters: 18, 12, and 6 inches. Trim the cake tiers to 4 inches high if necessary. Place tiers on the corresponding-size foam-board rounds, and fill and frost with the soft Italian meringue.

  2. Place the largest tier on the serving platter. Insert 4 columns, narrow side down, into the 18-inch tier; each column should be 4 inches from the edge of the cake and evenly spaced around the cake. Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a large star (number 869) tip, with a freshly made batch of meringue. Beginning from the center, pipe 2 1/2- inch cones to cover the entire top of tier.

  3. Insert columns and cover tops of smaller tiers in the same manner as in step 2. When ready to assemble the cake, dab a small amount of meringue onto the top of each column to fasten it to the above tier. Carefully stack the tiers. When ready to serve, transfer the cake to a serving platter.