The Italians make cookies out of this recipe and call them Brutti ma Buoni. Honestly this way it's both pretty and oh so good!

I often have left over egg whites and here is one way of getting rid of them:

Inspired by and adapted from :

Baird, Elizabeth, The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook. Random House Canada. Canada: 2001

Brutti ma Buoni recipe for the tart base 

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
4 large (120 grams) egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ½ spoonful unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons (30 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (125 grams) raw hazelnuts chopped

Garnish:

Fresh berries of the season (I also used some yoghurt crisps, they look pretty but are not necessary)

 The chopped hazelnuts are toasted at 350° F or 177° C for about 15 min until you smell their nice fragrance

The chopped hazelnuts are toasted at 350° F or 177° C for about 15 min until you smell their nice fragrance

In a bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, cook the sugar and egg whites, whisking constantly, until opaque in color and hot to touch (about 5-10 minutes).

Remove from heat, transfer to the bowl of your electric mixer, and beat until thick and glossy (like a thick meringue) (approx. 5 minutes). Then add the vanilla extract, the cocoa and fold in the flour and chopped hazelnuts.

 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper  shape the mixture to form a  base for your cake in your preferred size

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper  shape the mixture to form a  base for your cake in your preferred size

The crisp base with the sweetness and texture of the hazelnuts and the tartness of the fresh berries is a fantastic combination, especially for spring and summer. I served mine that afternoon with fresh lemon ice-cream I made, which I can show you another time. I hope you have fun making this. Don't be scared, it's actually very easy to prepare for guests on the morning of your dinner party.