The Germans have their Schaum Torte. The Aussies and New Zealanders have their Pavolva. The Italians, Swiss, and French have their meringues. These are all very similar, consisting of beaten egg whites and sugar.
But for our purposes today, I’m going to share with you a light and airy dessert (literally) bursting with springtime strawberries and whip cream in a large baked meringue. It’s a Strawberry Schaum Torte. Schaumtorte in German means foam cake. The fellow I learn it from, while Jerry and I were visiting Wisconsin years ago, learned it from his German grandmother. And after a few glasses of wine, his girlfriend shared with me the few special “tricks” he doesn’t normally disclose. (Look for those at the bottom of the recipe in the Notes.)
What we’ve here is a tale of two tortes. They are both Strawberry Schaum Tortes but the very top is made with Truvia (a blend of stevia and erythritol) and the lower one is made with real pure cane sugar. Both meringues are baked in a springform pan at a low temperature for a long time. When they’re done and cool, the Truvia low carb version is like a giant foam block. The sugar loaded carb version has a thin crispy dome hovering over a huge cavernous air space. Below the dome is a soft spongy marshmallow-like pillow bed that’s settled on the bottom waiting to be layered with fresh whipped cream and sliced bright red strawberries.
Both are easy to make, crazy to look at, and fun to eat.
The fun of eating any Schaum Torte is getting the bite just right. Make sure you get in deep to guarantee you get all the layers. For the one made with sugar you get a touch of the light pillowy mallow, some of the sweet fluffy cream, a slice of a succulent berry, and finally just a bit of the fragile top crust for an unexpected… crunch. Oh…. yeah.
Both times my girlfriends swear up and down it’s one of the best desserts they’ve ever eaten and it is really awesome to be able to eat something this decedent with practically 0 net carbs. But baking is chemistry. I’m not going to lie, there is a HUGE textural difference between the sugar substitute variety and the traditional version as you can see in the pictures.
Where as the flavor of the sugar Schuam comes together harmoniously in your mouth and is pillow soft, luxurious, but also crispy, the erythritol version is cool and melts in your mouth like cotton candy. It’s not a pepperminty cool; it just leaves your mouth feeling cool. It’s still really good in a creamy-berry-cotton-candy kinda way. Can you tell which one I like better?
Long story short: you can have your Schaum and eat it too. Make it ketogenic and low-carb by using Truvia in place of the real deal sugar. If you could care less about your carb intake, use sugar, baby, all the way.
STRAWBERRY SCHAUM TORTE
- 8 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla , separated
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (if using Truvia, use only 3/4 cup)
- 3 cups sliced strawberries
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (1/8 cup if using powdered Truvia)
- springform pan , greased
- parchment paper
- stand mixer , with whisk attachment
- measuring cups and spoons
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
- Make sure your stand mixer bowl is super clean. Whisk eggs whites on low speed for 2 minutes. Increase speed to low-medium and add vinegar and whisk for 3 more minutes. Increase speed to medium high and add 1 teaspoon vanilla and the salt. Whisk until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar (or Truvia) and continue to whisk on high until you see stiff glossy peaks and the sugar is dissolved.
- While the eggs are beating, DO NOT grease your springform pan*. But DO cut a piece of parchment paper to fit on the bottom.
- When the meringue is ready (stiff & glossy), spread it gently into the springform pan.
- Bake for 90 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR after you put it in. At the end of the baking time, turn the oven off and keep the door shut for at least 2 hours.*
- While it’s baking, clean the stand mixer. Using the stand mixer, whisk the whipping cream, teaspoon vanilla, and powdered sugar until you have stiff peaks that curl at the tips. Slice your strawberries. Set both to the side in the refrigerator until ready to layer.
- After the oven and schaum as cooled in the oven (2 hours after the baking time), take it out and carefully remove the crispy top. Carefully lay it aside. Take the meringue out of the springform pan and place the bottom on your serving tray or cake plate. The bottom should come off easily and you can remove the parchment paper.
- Layer the whip cream and strawberries, alternating until you run out. (Start and Finish with the whip cream). Carefully piece together the crispy top crust on top of the whip cream.
*Did I mention, NOT to open the door once you start baking? And NOT to open the door for at least 2 hours after you turn off the oven? Ok, just checking. This is what keeps the top from falling. Otherwise, you can’t do the whole layering thing. Keeping the crispy top crust separate from the foam cushiony base lets you experience all the layers in their full expression. And come on, crispy sweet crunchy stuff is fun to eat.
*Do Not grease the parchment paper or springform pan. I did this and ended up with a jelly-like oil slick that was super disgusting. I still have nightmares. Ick.