I’m fo fancy, you already know….If loads of chocolate, meringue, and fresh farmers’ market berries is being fancy, then yes, we all are.
Have you ever bought a bunch of ingredients that look super pretty and then you wonder: umm..now what? Ok so last weekend I was walking by the market when I saw all these mountains of stacked local berries just sitting there, winking at me, asking me to take them home. So I did. I basically bought my own weight in berries and decided to figure out what to do with them later.
The ah-ha! moment hit me when I saw the cover of may’s issue of Donna Hay (yes, I admit it, I’m a donna fan – the woman knows how to style!) and saw this freaking fantastic chocolate meringue cake. I then knew that these berries needed to marry this cake. Done and done.
Such a beautiful summer love story, right?
This cake is served chilled, which still makes it appropriate for the season – though if you make it later in the year you can serve it at room temp and it’ll be just as amazing. It’s messy, fudge-y, and lusty!
Nuff talkin, more eatin’. Full recipe after the jump!
Chocolate Meringue Cake with Fresh Berries
*For the cake:
– 225g dark chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
– 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chopped
– 2 large eggs
– 4 yolks (save the whites! You’ll use them for the meringue)
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/3 cup all purpose flour, sifted
– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
– 1/3 cup almond meal
*For the meringue:
– 4 eggs whites
– 3/4 cup super fine sugar
– 1 teaspoon white vinegar
– 2 teaspoon cornstarch, sifted
– 1 tablespoon cocoa
– 1/4 cup dark chocolate, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly grease a springform 8inch cake pan, place some parchment paper on the bottom and set aside.
2. Place butter and chocolate in a small pot over low heat and warm enough to melt them. Turn off the heat let it stand for a bit.
3. In a large bowl place the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, and vanilla and mix or whisk for about 5 minutes until the mixture is pale and has doubled in size (it should look really frothy and thicker). Add the chocolate/butter melted mixture, flour, baking powder, and almond meal and gently fold until combined. Place batter in the cake tin and bake for about 30 min JUST until set – DO NOT COOK FULLY! We need to add the meringue so it should 3/4 done (it’s ok if it’s looks a bit “raw” still). Remove from the oven, set aside.
As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, start the meringue! Not before, as meringue can’t sit.
1. Increase temperature in the oven to 350F
2. Place egg whites in a CLEAN bowl (no grease, no water) and beat them to soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar (about 1 tablespoon at at time). When you’re done with the sugar, add the vinegar and beat until meringue is nice and glossy. Add the cornstarch and cocoa and gently fold. Finally, slowly drizzle the melted chocolate and place the whole thing on top of the cake. Don’t mix the chocolate as you want natural swirls to happen!
3. Place the cake with the meringue back in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the meringue feels dry. Remove from the oven when done and let is stand outside for a bit.
**NOTE** The meringue will still be chewy and gooey in the middle and that’s ok (as long as it’s not super runny and raw). You won’t get the same consistency as a regular hard meringue (which takes about an hour in the oven) otherwise the cake would dry like crazy.
Want more meringue tips? Check out THIS POST!
Now you can either serve it at room temp OR – my fave – you can chill it for an hour or so.
To serve simply top with LOADS AND LOADS of berries and you’re good to go! Have a glass of cold milk (of any kind) nearby. Yumssss
Photos and styling: Artful Desperado
Recipe: adapted from Donna Hay issue 74