Chocolate meringue cake
- October 2023
- Serves 8-10
- Hands-on time 40 min, plus cooling, oven time 50 min
If you love your desserts chocolatey, this recipe from Tarunima Sinha will definitely please… Her flour-free cake recipe uses ground almonds for moistness and is enriched with melted chocolate, before being finished with a layer of chocolate-flavoured meringue and dusting of cocoa powder.
Tarunima says: “Chocolate cake topped with chocolate meringue is always a good idea in my home. This cake is requested often and as it’s gluten free it works well at gatherings as everyone can enjoy the same dessert. It tastes even better the next day, so it’s really a good bake to plan ahead. Serve with lots of whipped cream and some blackberries, when in season, to make it extra special.”
Tarunima Sinha is a self-taught baker and founder of My Little Cake Tin. In 2019, Tarunima was featured in The Observer Top 50 Things in Food by Observer Food Monthly. Her cakes are known for their unique flavours and colourful designs and have received Great Taste awards.
- 29g (14g saturated)
- 46g (42g sugars)
- 150g unsalted butter
- 100g milk chocolate
- 100g dark chocolate
- 6 medium free-range eggs, 4 separated
- 100g light brown muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
- 100g ground almonds
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp baking powder (gluten free if you need it to be)
- 230g golden caster sugar
- 40g cocoa powder, plus extra to dust
- 30g cornflour
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- Specialist kit
- Deep 20cm round cake tin
- Heat the oven to 170°C fan/gas 5. Line the cake tin with baking paper with a 3cm overhang all around.
- Chop the butter and chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Leave to melt, stirring a few times, then remove from the heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Put 2 whole eggs, 4 eggs yolks (reserve the whites), the muscovado sugar and the vanilla in a large bowl. Using an electric whisk or the beater attachment on a stand mixer, beat for 4-5 minutes on a medium speed until the mixture is light and thick (when you lift out the beaters so they drop some of the mix across the top, the trail should be visible for 3 seconds or so). Gently pour the chocolate mixture in at one edge of the bowl, then carefully stir through.
- Sift in the ground almonds, salt and baking powder. Fold in very gently, being careful not to deflate the batter (use wide metal spoon and a figure-of-eight motion). Once all mixed in, scrape into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 28-30 minutes. Check the cake after 30 minutes with a toothpick – if the toothpick comes out with a just few crumbs, it’s ready. If there is still some liquid batter, bake for a few extra minutes. A slightly underbaked cake is better here as it will have extra baking time with the meringue. Set aside to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, increase the oven temperature to 190°C fan/gas 7 and make the meringue topping for the cake. Put the reserved egg whites in a very clean heatproof bowl that will sit on top of a pan of water and add the caster sugar. Give it a stir, then place over a pan of barely simmering water (without the bowl touching the water). Stir occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved (check by rubbing a little between your fingers; when it’s ready it won’t feel grainy). This can take 5-7 minutes. If you have a thermometer, the temperature should reach 70°C.
- Once ready, remove from the heat. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or an electric whisk, beat at a medium speed for 3-5 minutes. Increase the speed and beat for a further 5-7 minutes, until the meringue is white, glossy and holding stiff peaks. Sift the cocoa powder on top, then gently fold in (as before) along with the cornflour and vinegar. Dollop this mixture over the slightly cooled cake, then bake for 18-20 minutes. It will puff and slightly collapse when it’s nearly ready – this is absolutely fine.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes. Once cool, lift the cake carefully out of the tin, using the paper overhang. Dust with some extra cocoa powder. Cut into wedges and serve with dollops of whipped cream, plus blackberries and a sprinkle of edible flowers if you like. Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days – it tastes even better the next day!
If you like your cakes rich and powerful, use all 70% dark chocolate rather than a mixture of dark and milk chocolate.
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