Chocolate Meringue Cake
Chocolate meringue discs alternate with chocolate whipped cream to create a light-as-air cake. Chef Ricchi saves the trimmings when he shapes the meringue discs, and presses the meringue crumbs onto the sides and top of the cake. This cake must freeze for at least 3 hours or even overnight before serving, making it a wonderful dessert for company.
- Meringue Shells
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 3 cups
- Cocoa Powder - 1-1/2 cups
- Egg Whites - 7
- Sugar - 1-1/3 cup
- Chocolate Filling
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 quart, whipped to soft peaks
- Sugar - 1 scant cup
- Cocoa Powder - scant 1-1/2 cups
To make the shells: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Trace two 8-inch circles on the liner, leaving an inch between each circle. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Mix the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder. Whip the egg whites and sugar for 7 to 8 minutes, until firm glossy peaks form. Using a spatula, incorporate the cocoa mixture with the egg whites.
Put the meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Starting from the center point of a circle, swirl the meringue around the circle in a spiral until the circle is filled in. Repeat with the other circle. Bake for 2 hours; remove and cool. Meringue shells may be baked ahead, cooled completely, and stored in airtight plastic bags for up to 3 days.
To make the filling: Using a whisk, mix the whipped cream, sugar, and cocoa powder together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Turn on the mixer and beat at high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the cream is standing in firm peaks (do not overbeat).
To assemble: Using an 8-inch cake form or cardboard circle, trim the meringue disc to fit the form. Save the trimmings. Using a pastry bag, layer the disk with a layer of filling. Place a second meringue disc on top and repeat with another layer of filling. Using a spatula, ice the sides with the filling. Crunch the disc trimmings to create small crumbs, then press these crumbs into the sides and top of the cake. Wrap gently with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Remove one hour prior to serving.