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Hazelnut Crackle Log

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Serves: 6-8

For the Meringue
70g / 2 1/2 oz roasted skinned hazelnuts
4 egg whites, at room temperature
150g / 5 1/2 oz caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

For the Filling
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons hot water
200g / 7 oz light cream cheese or quark
2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted


To make the meringue, preheat the oven to 150ºC / 300ºF / Gas 2. Draw a 20 x 35cm / 8 x 14 in rectangle on a sheet of baking paper. Put the sheet, pencil side down, on a baking tray.

Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and process until the nuts are coarsely ground. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk until stiff and glossy. Gently fold in the hazelnuts, then the cornflour, vanilla and vinegar. Spoon onto the baking tray and spread evenly inside the marked rectangle. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the meringue is set and lightly golden.

Lay a large sheet of baking paper on a work surface and invert the cooked meringue on top. Peel off the baking paper and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

To make the filling, dissolve the instant coffee in the hot water. Put the coffee, cream cheese or quark and icing sugar in a bowl and mix well.

Spread the filling evenly over the meringue. Starting at one short end and using the baking paper as a lever, gently roll up the meringue. The outer surface will crack into a pattern. Serve immediately, cut into slices.

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