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 double boiler (a bowl, on top a pot with water barely simmering), heat up until it starts to melt. Remove from heat and let it stand for a couple minutes.
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 thick). Add melted chocolate and butter, flour, baking powder, and almond meal and gently fold until combined (I suggest adding a bit of each at a time). Place batter in the cake pan and bake for about 30 min until it’s just barely set – DO NOT COOK FULLY! You need to add the meringue so it should 3/4 done (it’s ok if it’s looks a bit “raw” still). You can test it by inserting a fork or skewer – some batter should stick to them. Remove from the oven, set aside.
As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, start the meringue! Not before or it will collapse.
1. First, 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 until combined. Finally, slowly drizzle the melted chocolate and fold a few times – NOTE: if you want some swirls to happen, then fold only a few times. Place meringue on top of the cake.
3. Place the cake with the meringue back in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the meringue develops a dry crust (tap it a bit to test it). 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 hours to dry in the oven) otherwise the cake would dry like crazy. To test, simply insert a skewer in the meringue, if the meringue comes out gooey (not runny) you are good to go.
Want more meringue tips? Check out THIS POST!
You can serve it at room temp or chilled (room temp: gooey, chilled: more like a brownie).
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. Make sure to add the fruit BEFORE serving – if you leave it sitting on the cake for too long it’ll make it soggy.
Photos and styling: Artful Desperado
Recipe: adapted from Donna Hay issue 74