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Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Spread out the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast them until golden brown (about 5 minutes).
Let the hazelnuts cool down and then chop them as finely as possible, it is best to use a food processor for this.
Reduce the oven temperature to 120 degrees celsius and draw 2 large or 3 small circles on baking parchment to ensure you end up with a nice round cake.
Degrease the bowl and whisk the electric mixer with kitchen paper and a few drops of lemon juice and beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gradually add the sugar and mix until the egg whites are glossy.
Stir the chopped hazelnuts into the egg whites. Turn the baking parchment over so that there is no ink touching the meringue and spread the mixture, evenly, in the circles. Make them as smooth as possible.
Bake the thin meringues for about an hour and a half. The exact baking time depends on the size and thickness of the meringues. They should have hardened completely, including inside. Then let them cool completely.
Melt the chocolate, it is best to do this in a bain-marie. To do this, heat some water in a small pan. Place a heatproof bowl on top and add the chocolate in pieces.
Spread a layer of the melted chocolate over the meringues; do not make the layers too thick. Leave the chocolate to set and harden.
Meanwhile, whip the cream until it has stiff peaks. Stick the first meringue to the cake plate with a little whipped cream so that it doesn't slide.
Spread the top with a thick layer of whipped cream. Place the second meringue on top, then another layer of whipped cream and then the third meringue, if you've made three. Cover the sides with a thick layer of whipped cream. Set aside some whipped cream to make tufts on top.
Sprinkle the nougatine nuts over the entire cake and decorate with whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!
Where does the name progrestaart come from?
Progrestaart (progress cake) is also known as meringue. Due to the temperature of the oven, the moisture evaporates from the egg whites and the air in them expands. This creates more volume, so enlargement or progress / progression.
What is the difference between meringue and progrestaart?
With a progrestaart, chopped nuts are added to the egg whites. This is not usually the case with meringues.
Can I make a progrestaart without chocolate?
Traditionally, a Progrestaart is made without chocolate. The chocolate adds extra flavour and structure, but this cake is still delicious without it.
Can I freeze a progrestaart?
A progrestaart freezes very well. Thaw it slowly for best results.