It’s been a while but I promise I have been cooking and taking pictures. Here’s hoping I find time to write one up now and again. I baked this cake as the special request for a colleague who was leaving MPOW, which meant it was a new one for me (and hence the glamorous background of my work tearoom for the photos!). The result is a silky chocolaty concoction that makes a rich and satisfying dessert.
I found this cake easy to make ahead of time. I made the mousse 2 days before I planned to build the cake and stored it in a container in the fridge. The meringue can also be made in advance and be stored in a dry sealed container (don’t let it get moist), no need to refrigerate. Then just build the night before you need it.
For the Meringue:
- 10 egg whites, at room temperature
- a pinch salt
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 2½ cups caster sugar
- 2 tbsp corn flour
- ⅓ cup Dutch cocoa
For the Mousse:
- 2 cups dark chocolate
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 cups cream – whipped
Preheat oven to 100°C
Beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar, a little at a time, until stiff peaks form and sugar has dissolved.
Using a spatula, gently fold the sifted corn flour and cocoa through the egg whites until just combined. Be gentle at this stage as the cocoa is fairly heavy and can deflate your egg whites. If they do deflate, start again as you can’t resurrect them.
Draw 3 x 20 cm circles on baking paper to fit on to your oven trays.
Fill a large piping bag fitted with a 1.5 cm plain nozzle (what you are told to do) or put your meringue into zip lock bags and snip the corner off (what I actually did) and starting in the center pipe outwards in a spiral, repeat 2 more times to create your 3 discs. They should look glossy and be about 1.5cm thick. Pipe the remaining meringue into as many lines as possible.
Bake the discs and lines for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool in the oven. Don’t be tempted to turn up the oven to hurry it along. Meringue just takes time. Ensure the meringues are completely cold before you try to build the cake.
Fold the eggs into the melted chocolate and then fold the whipped cream into the mixture gently to finish your mousse. Chill in the fridge.
To build the cake, place a disc of meringue as your base and cover with about 1/4 of the mousse. Add another disc and repeat. Add the final disk and then cover the top and sides with the remaining mousse. Chill in the fridge over night.
An hour before serving take out of the fridge to warm gently as room temperature and top with your lines of meringue which you can chop or break to your desired size. Dust with icing sugar just before serving (optional).