Eton Mess Scone Cake

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  • Preheat the oven to 130°C.
  • Whisk together the egg whites until they form stiff peaks then add the sugar in spoonfuls. Keep going until the meringue becomes glossy and thick - take a pinch and rub it between your fingers; if it's still grainy, keep whisking! Spoon roughly onto a lined baking tray and bake for around 2 hours, then break it up into small chunks. It helps having two ovens at this point - if you do, whack the second up to 180°C.
  • Sift the flour and bicarb into a large mixing bowl. Make sure the butter is soft and lightly rub into the flour with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles coarse, fine breadcrumbs.
  • Whisk through the sugar until fully incorporated then make a well and pour in the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in everything to make a sticky dough - add splashes of milk if it looks too dry.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently form into a disk. Place it in a lined 23 cm spring form tin. Bake for around 30 mins before covering with silver foil to prevent the top burning. Check it with a skewer for doneness and leave it to cool for at least an hour - it'll need to be really cold for the next step.
  • Whisk the clotted cream with the icing sugar and cream of tartar. Add the double cream and whisk to stiff peaks.
  • To assemble the scone cake, carefully cut in half horizontally. Spread the bottom half with a layer of strawberry jam, followed by the whipped cream, fresh strawberries and pieces of broken up meringue.
  • Dust with icing sugar and serve cut into wedges.