Non traditional vacherin

Photographer: Emma
makes 1 vacherin to serve 12 or more

A traditional Vacherin dessert is created by layering meringue disks with crème Chantilly.  It gets its name from a cow’s milk cheese made during the cold winter months in France and Switzerland; the colour and shape of vacherin cheese compare to that of this dessert.   In this non-traditional vacherin, almond meal and cinnamon are gently folded through the meringue.  Mascarpone, a delicious Italian triple cream cheese is used to layer the meringue discs.

You can prepare the discs the day before assembling by storing in an air tight container in a cool dark place such as your pantry.

If there are leftovers, keep the vacherin in your refrigerator; the discs will soften changing the texture, which you may enjoy even more.


Meringue discs
175g almonds, roasted then processed finely (in a food processor)
5 egg whites
225g caster sugar
110g butter
70g flour
½ tsp cinnamon

250g mascarpone
300ml cream
2tbsp icing sugar (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 120ºC on Bake.
2. Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until white and fluffy. Reduce the speed of the blender and add ½ of the sugar slowly. Beat for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
3. With a spatula, lightly fold in the almond meal and the remaining 1/2 of the sugar.
4. Melt the butter (only just melt, or cool after melting) and fold this in the meringue with the flour and the cinnamon.
5. Spread 1/3 of the meringue onto baking paper in a disc approx 20cm diameter by 2cm tall. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Ideally you want 3 even sized disks.
6. Place the disks in the oven for 50 minutes. You may need to keep an eye on the colouring of the disks. Rotate between the shelves if your oven is colouring unevenly. There should be minimal colour.
7. Turn oven off and open door. Allow the disks to cool like this.
8. If you are not using straight away, place the cool disks in an air tight container with baking paper separating them.
9. Gently whisk the mascarpone with the cream and icing sugar until combined. Layer the mixture between the meringue disks. The disks must be completely cool before layering with the mascarpone/cream mixture**.

Tips and Tricks
*The quantities of mascarpone, cream and icing sugar are flexible. I add cream to the mascarpone to thin it down and make it easier to work with. Also, mascarpone is expensive so adding cream makes the filling more affordable. If you add too much liquid cream, you can beat the mixture to thicken it. Add icing sugar to your ideal sweetness; I do like to keep the filling a little tart to balance the sweetness of the meringue.
**Layering the disks, then putting the vacherin in the fridge for a couple of hours will cause the disks to soften. This is a delicious effect and the vacherin becomes easier to portion.