CHOCOLATE MERINGUE CAKE
- 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus additional for springform pan
- 1 c. hazelnuts
- 3/4 c. firmly-packed light brown sugar
- 6 large eggs, separated into yolks and whites
- 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate (approx. 60% cacao), melted and cooled
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. rum (optional - I didn't include this)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 c. superfine sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter a 9x3 inch round springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment (I cut out a 9-inch circle using kitchen shears). Butter parchment and springform pan and set aside.
3. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until fragrant and skins start to crack, 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and rub vigorously with a clean kitchen towel to take off skins. Let cool and roughly chop. Set aside.
4. Make cake batter. In an electric mixer (using paddle attachment), cream butter and brown sugar until pale and smooth.
5. Add six egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is light and fluffy.
6. Add 12 oz. melted chocolate, vanilla, and rum (if desired). Beat until combined and set aside.
7. In a clean mixer bowl, combine six egg whites and salt. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form (I used my hand mixer for this job), about 2 minutes.
8. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining beaten egg whites until just combined.
9. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 25 minutes.
10. While cake cooks, make meringue. Combine hazelnuts, chopped chocolate, and cornstarch and set aside.
11. Add four remaining egg whites and cream of tartar to clean mixing bowl. Beat at a high speed until frothy, then slowly add sugar with mixer still running, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form (approximately 8 minutes). Fold in hazelnut mixture.
12. Remove cake from oven and spread meringue over the top with an offset spatula. Return to oven and bake until crisp, approximately 25-30 minutes.
13. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let stand 10 minutes.
14. Run knife around the edge of the cake to loosen and then release the sides of the springform pan. Let cool at least 30 minutes prior to slicing and serving.
Sadie was pretty bushed after our guests left. She wanted to show us some of her contortionist tactics to take up as much bed space as possible despite her scant 40 lbs. She did a pretty good job of taking up almost half the bed before we pushed her to her spot at the foot of the bed.