Mocha Meringue Cake

A divine mocha mousse sandwiched between two meringue discs.

Ok, something fancy for a change.

It’s been so invigorating having my cooking mojo back but let’s face it, cooking dinners tends to focus on the functional in this house and I just had a hankering to make something requiring a bit of technical skill and that was a little bit fancy.

I was rearranging my cookbook bookshelf and the June July copy of Donna Hay fell out with this on the cover. I basically had to make it immediately. I swapped out the white chocolate for milk because it was all I had and the mousse probably didn’t set as well as it should have because I didn’t have enough whipped cream. I also used almond meal instead of hazelnut meal because it was what i had in the cupboard. But guess what, it was BLOODY DELICIOUS.

It’s not technically challenging, but there are steps and waiting/cooling times so go in with that knowledge.

Mocha meringue cake
Mocha meringue cake

Mocha Meringue Cake
 
Total show pony dessert
Author:
Serves: 8-10 slices
Ingredients
The meringue
  • 2 tsp strong instant coffee granules
  • ½ tsp boiling water
  • 1 tblsp cornflour
  • 1 cup almond meal (any nut meal will work a treat)
  • 4 eggwhites
  • 1½ cups icing sugar
The mousse
  • ½ cup pouring cream
  • ¼ cup strong instant coffee granules (yes, ¼ cup)
  • 400g milk chocolate (original recipe is 300g white choc, 100g dark choc)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1½ cups thickened cream, whipped
Instructions
For the meringue
  1. Preheat the oven to 120C and draw 2 x 20cm circles on baking paper
  2. Dissolve the coffee in the water
  3. Combine the cornflour with the almond meal
  4. Whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form
  5. Add the sugar in spoonfuls and beat until thick and glossy
  6. Scrape down the sides then add the almond meal mix and whisk until just combined
  7. Turn the baking paper upside-down (so the pencil doesn't transfer onto the meringue) and place on two baking trays
  8. Spoon the meringue onto the two circles and smooth with a pallet knife or spatula
  9. Bake for 1hr, then turn off the oven and leave in there for 2 hours or overnight
For the mousse
  1. Put the ½ cup of cream and the coffee in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water
  2. Once the coffee starts dissolving add the chocolate and stir every now and then until it's all melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly (I basically waited until it was blood warm)
  3. Whisk the eggwhites until soft peaks
  4. Mix the egg yolks into the chocolate then fold through the eggwhites
  5. Refrigerate for 15 minutes (or in my case a few hours because I made it all out of order!)
To assemble
  1. Grease and line a 24cm springform tin
  2. Place one of the meringue discs into the bottom of the cake pan, top with mousse and then the remaining meringue
  3. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours
  4. Dust with icing sugar

 

Daring Bakers Challenge – Lemon Meringue Pie


Completing a DBC always makes me puff out the chest and squeal ‘look what I made!’

This month was no different. The lovely Jen from Canadian Baker put the challenge out there – lemon meringue pie. A creation I had wanted to make but always got freaked out by never got around to.

So guess what. Look what I made!
Some of my initial thoughts on this recipe:
– the pastry was a delight to work with and I’m going to use it again
– the filling was an absolute CINCH to make and while it was cornflour based, it didn’t have too much of that clag glue consistency or, indeed, taste.
– the meringue – something I make time and time again – threw me. Stupid I know, but I was all ‘is that thick and glossy’ when I know exactly what thick and glossy meringue looks like. So I think I either over mixed it or perhaps undermixed it as it was more dry and aerated. Annoying. I was going to make it again but any dessert with three components and various cooking/cooling requirements need some time allocated, something I have very little of at the moment until the boys go back to school.
– I made 12 tartlets and 9 mini-tartlets – the minis were everyone’s favourite.
– there was a moderate concern about the amount of liquid that came from the meringues, but it seemed to settle down and didn’t impact the pastry or flavour.
– would I make it again? Definitely.

the mini version

Lemon Meringue Pie
From Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, Wanda Beaver
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:

  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
  • 2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups (475 mL) water
  • 1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarch
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:

  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

To Make the Crust:

  1. Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible.
  2. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt.
  3. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together.
  4. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk.
  6. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll.
  8. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch (.3 cm).
  9. Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin.
  10. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm).
  11. Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.
  12. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  13. Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans.
  14. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  15. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.
  16. Cool completely before filling.


To Make the Filling:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan.
  2. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together.
  4. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.
  5. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick.
  6. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth.
  7. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.
  8. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated.
  9. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined.
  10. Pour into the prepared crust.
  11. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.
Helpers

To Make the Meringue:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  2. Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
  3. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks.
  4. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.
  6. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.