Meringue and Chocolate Cake - My Most Daring Experience

By Maria Teresa Jorge
December 30, 2009
21 Comments


Author Notes: Ok, here is my New Year’s resolution – “I want to start cooking out of my comfort zone”. That said, I had asked my family, as Christmas gift, to give me money because I wanted to take a pastry course in Paris with Pierre Hermé (Oh my God, this is still a dream!!!).
So, being all excited about the perspective of doing my pastry course, I gave my 33 year old “foodie” son, a dessert to choose from several Pierre Hermé cookbooks I own.
He chose the Megève Cake. I looked at the recipe and thought he must be out of his mind, how on earth could I ever achieve that standard of dessert.
But, having made my decision that I would do no matter what he chose, I got on with it (ok, I confess, I kind of changed a few things here and there) and made it.
I was so proud of the final result, it looked so amazing, I even decorated it with little edible gold droplets. But the best part came when I served it. It was meant to be in the fridge for 2 days but there was no way anyone wanted to wait, so I served it the following day. Everyone was saying it was the most delicious and balanced cake they had ever eaten because the chocolate mousse filling has no sugar so it is the perfect balance with the meringue. So, let’s see what you think. Note: the recipe has many steps but that's because I like to explain well the way I went about. Don't be taken aback from trying it, it wasn't that hard to do it.
Maria Teresa Jorge

Serves: 8

Ingredients

Meringue and Chocolate mousse filling

  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 7.3 ounces very fine sugar but not icing sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • 9.7 ounces unsweetened chocolate 70%
  • 6.6 ounces butter at room temperature
  • 3 yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon
    1 teaspoon very fine sugar


  • 1.4 ounces milk warm (1/8 cup plus2 teaspoons)

Soft Chocolate Glaze

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup

Directions

  1. For the Meringue:
  2. On a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites. When they reach soft peaks add 4 ounces of the sugar and the vanilla extract and continue whisking. When they reach medium hard peaks add the remainder of the sugar and beat until they are very hard, glossy and smooth.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 210º F.
  4. Line 3 baking trays with parchment paper. On the reverse side of the paper draw 3 circles of 9 inches diameter on each paper. Butter and flour the parchment papers (don’t skip this process because it will make it very easy to remove the parchment paper from the meringue without breaking them).
  5. Divide the meringue in 3 equal parts and spread on the 3 circles with the back of a spoon and a metal spatula, or use a piping bag with a thick plain nozzle. With the aid of a spatula, smoothen the surface, so they have equal height and the surface is as flat as possible.
  6. Cook the meringues for 1 1/2 hours each. If you have a convection oven with more then one rack you can fit all of them in at the same time. They will come out quite white and very dry. Allow to cool and remove the parchment paper which will come out very easily while still warm.
  7. For the chocolate filling mousse:
  8. Cut the chocolate in small pieces and melt it in a bain-marie. Allow to cool to 100ºF.
  9. Warm up the milk to 100º F.
  10. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the butter until very fluffy. Add the cooled melted chocolate slowly in a stream, scraping down the sides and bottom to make sure the mixture is well blended.
  11. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks until they get fluffy and lighter in colour. Add the warm milk and whisk until well incorporated.
  12. Add the egg yolk and milk mixture to the chocolate butter mixture and whisk until well combined.
  13. Whisk the egg whites to medium soft peaks.
  14. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites with a spatula in the chocolate mixture. Then pour the chocolate mixture over the remaining egg whites and fold gently with a spatula until well mixed. Cover the bowl and chill for 2 hours.
  15. Staking the meringue and chocolate mousse:
  16. Put a meringue disk on a serving plate. With a spatula gently spread 1/3 of the chocolate mousse evenly over the top. Add the second meringue disk and gently spread 1/3 of the chocolate mousse. Add the third meringue disk and cover with the remainder 1/3 of chocolate mousse but this time use a very fine coating on top and the rest around the sides to cover completely (see photos 2 and 3) Chill for 2 days.
  17. Pour the glaze that should be at 100ºF on the cake, spreading with a long metal spatula so the glaze coats the top and sides evenly. Allow the glaze to set for about 1 hour. This is best done with the cake on a cooling rack over a baking tray so the excess glazing can drip in the tray and the serving dish doesn’t become full of glaze.
  18. Soft Chocolate Glaze:
  19. Put the cream in a pan over medium heat. Open the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes.
  20. Bring the cream back to a boil again, discard the vanilla pod and stir in the chopped chocolate and corn syrup with a wooden spoon or spatula until smooth and shiny.
  21. Allow to cool to 100ºF and use to glaze the cake as per step 18.

More Great Recipes:
Cake|Make Ahead|Winter|Dessert

Reviews (21) Questions (0)

21 Comments

Jane January 29, 2014
Which egg whites are for what? It isn't very clear..
 
Jennifer (. September 20, 2010
This is my style of dessert!!! I love how the glaze is dripping down the side of the cake. It adds to that whole decadent over the top feeling. Yum!!!!
 
Annelle January 27, 2010
This looks and sounds completely decadent! I'll have to study the recipe awhile before I undertake such a task!<br />Brava!
 
Author Comment
Maria T. January 28, 2010
Anelle, thank you for posting the comment. I did the same, I looked at the recipe for 2 days before getting the courage to make it. But in the end it's easy, after you do it the first time. I firts made the chocolate mousse and chilled it. Then I made the meringue and when cooked and cooled assembled them and chilled. The next morning I made the Glaze and when it reached 100ºF I poured it on the cake and chilled it. Can't tell you what it tastes 2 days later because we ate it at lunch and dinner that day.
 
Sodium G. January 27, 2010
I'm in...that looks unbelievable! And doesn't seem you can get much better than meringue and chocolate. Congrats on such a great achievement!
 
Author Comment
Maria T. January 28, 2010
Thanks for your comment, it did come out really good, it was a good first try!
 
NakedBeet January 25, 2010
Bravo to your ambition!
 
Author Comment
Maria T. January 26, 2010
Thank you!
 
KitchenKim January 25, 2010
I enjoyed looking at your photos and seeing the transformation of the simple meringue discs turning into a chocolate masterpiece.
 
Author Comment
Maria T. January 26, 2010
Thank you for your comment. I like to post photos of the process because it helps visualize what it's all about. I'm happy that you enjoyed the photos.
 
gluttonforlife January 3, 2010
Congrats on undertaking this beauty! It reminds me a bit of my wedding cake, a Gateau Marjolaine (hazelnut meringue with layers of chocolate and vanilla ganache glazed in chocolate) invented by the legendary Fernand Point.
 
Author Comment
Maria T. January 7, 2010
I know the one, the hazelnut meringue is absolutely fantastic in this version, I have tried it and it's delicious. Thank you for your comment.
 
mrslarkin December 31, 2009
Beautiful! Just beautiful!! Good luck in Paris!
 
Author Comment
Maria T. January 1, 2010
Thank you. Will learn as much as possible! Happy New Year
 
Candyland Q. December 31, 2009
Impressive! Good for you.
 
Author Comment
Maria T. December 31, 2009
Thank you for your comment. Happy New Year.
 
QueenOfGreen December 30, 2009
WOW!
 
Author Comment
Maria T. December 31, 2009
WOW because you like it or because the recipe goes on for ages?! Just jocking. Happy New Year
 
QueenOfGreen December 31, 2009
Both! It looks incredible, and I'd love to try it, but I feel like I'd need a REALLY SPECIAL occasion for something like that! I'm very impressed! Happy New Year to you too - all the best!
 
Rhonda35 December 30, 2009
MTJ - this looks amazing and is quite a triumph! My resolution is similar - to take on recipes that I normally wouldn't try or that scare me a little. I made an all meringue cake last year - incredibly good served with a raspberry coulis - but I love the idea of layering meringue with chocolate mousse. Have a great 2010!
 
Author Comment
Maria T. December 30, 2009
Rhonda, thank you for your comment. As the mousse has very little sugar, the cake is very subtle and you don't need anything astringent to cut the sweetness that is so common with meringue and chocolate desserts. I was really amazed by the end result. Regarding trying on new recipes, let's get moving. The worst scenario is finishing in the bin but one still learns the how and why that we should avoid or not - if we don't try we never know and we don't grow. So let's all grow into new heights! Have a great 2010 yourself too.